The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, has charged newly appointed Justices of the Court of Appeal to act with dignity and perform their duties with the highest standards needed to uphold and maintain the integrity of their office.
Onnoghen who said this in his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the “Orientation Course for the Newly Appointed Justices of the Appeal Court,” held yesterday, at the National Judicial Institute (NJI), in Abuja, urged the Appellant-Judges to keep up the excellent works that earned them their new role, adding that their appointments were based on merit.
The CJN reiterated the need for a thorough and comprehensive reform in the justice sector. He lamented the delay in justice delivery system, and called on the new appointees to deliver judgements that are based on legal merits.
“My lords, you all will agree with me that a corrupt judge is not only a disgrace to the bench and the noble profession, but also a disaster to the course of justice and the nation. Corruption is not limited to bribe taking but includes the giving of judgments or orders based on any consideration other than legal merit. It is gratifying to note however, that the National Judicial Council is tackling this cankerworm head-on.
“Furthermore, the delay in our justice delivery system poses a grave concern to me as it must to you also. Appeals take a longer time to be completed, thereby causing inconveniences for the parties.”
Hopefully, your appointment will serve to curtail the delays encountered by litigants at the court of appeal,” he said.
In her welcome address, the Administrator of the NJI, Justice Roseline Bozimo revealed that in further realization of the main objective of the NJI, which is saddled with the responsibility of providing continuing judicial education to judicial officers, the course was convened, for the first time, at the instance of the CJN who saw the need for a proper familiarisation of the newly appointed justices of the court of appeal with the expectations of their new roles.