Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, has said that the judiciary would not hesitate to show the way out to any supporting staff who exhibits bad character, perpetrates corruption or any unwanted traits.
The CJN, who issued the threat on Monday in Abuja at the 2016 Refresher Course for Secretaries, Protocol Officers, Court Registrars, Process Clerks and Bailiffs, told the judiciary supporting staff that as the first point of contact with court users, their conduct would serve as a key indicator of courts’ performance.
The course was organised by the National Judicial Institute,
Justice Mahmud called on the workers to shun corruption in all its ramifications as “it erodes public confidence in the judiciary’s ability to impartially dispense justice and bring disrepute to the institution that we hold dear.”
He told them not to hide files and not to engage in rumour peddling.
He assured the workers that those who worked hard would be encouraged and rewarded but said those that exhibited bad character and perpetrate corruption would be dealt with appropriately.
He said: “As you may have read in various media portals over the years, our courts have become labelled as havens of apathy, with a decline in staff discipline as well as the exhibition of poor attitude to work, and persistent absenteeism from the office for no just reason.
“A concurrent and overlapping criticism that is also often voiced by members of the public is that Judicial Staff solicit for funds from lawyers or court users, to carry out their duties.
“More worrisome is the allegation that our Court Staff disclose confidential information received in the course of their duties and destroy or conceal evidence in cases pending in court. Similarly, some have even presented themselves as persons capable of influencing the decisions of the court.
“Corrupt practices such as these should not exist in the Judiciary and will not be tolerated where such practices exist.”
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