Tobi Soniyi and Alex Enumah in Abuja
The acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Samuel Walter Onnoghen, has appealed to judicial officers to align themselves with President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign.
In his first official assignment, Onnoghen said: “As ministers in the temple of justice, we must shun all corrupt practices in order to align ourselves with the anti-corruption strides of the current administration.
Onnoghen spoke in Abuja at the National Judicial Institute (NJI) while declaring open the 2016 Conference of All Nigerian Judges of the Lower Courts on the theme: ‘The Lower Courts as Veritable Instruments for Justice and Peace in a Democratic Society.’
He also asked judicial officers to adhere to their oath of office.
He noted that an independent, strong, respectable and responsible judiciary was indispensable to the administration of justice and to have such an institution, “We must adhere to our Oath of Office as contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers,” he added.
Onnoghen also stated that as, “impartial arbiters, we must at all times uphold the rule of law, eliminate unnecessary delays and above all ensure that justice is dispensed promptly, without fear or favour, affection and ill-will to both parties in accordance with the provisions of the law.”
In her welcome address, the Administrator of the NJI, Justice Rosaline Bozimo (rtd) noted that a vast majority of cases were handled by lower courts.