-CJN Onnoghen warns judges to be prepared to defend the nation’s constitution ahead of the 2019 general elections in the country.
-He urged the judges to maintain integrity, objectivity and fairness in delivering judgments.
Don’t allow lawyers lead you into making wrong judicial calls – CJN tell Judges.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, has warned judges to be more conversant with the provisions of the law and judicial precidents relevant in determining cases as Nigeria prepares for another round of general elections in 2019.
He also warned them against fraternizing with politicians in such a way that will affect their objectiveness in determining cases.
This, the CJN said while declaring open this year’s Annual Conference of Justices of Court of Appeal, in Abuja.
He said, “Let me remind us that our salvation remains in our hands; so in the approaching frenzied political activities leading to the 2019 general elections, let us continue to watch the company we keep, the people we open our doors to, lest we unwittingly open ourselves to ridicule and embarrassment as the politicians will do anything, not necessarily legal, to have their way, including destroying our hard-earned reputation and integrity.”
“Your level of preparation, coupled with the determination of Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari, to bequeath to Nigeria a legacy of credible election process , will guarantee the peace and stability we all desire.
“On judicial precedents as they relate to election and pre-election matters, I want to remind us that the Supreme Court has decided in a number of cases that the principles of judicial review such as Mandamus, Certiorari, and Prohibition etc do not apply because election and election-related matters, such as pre-election causes, are suis generis.
“There is an emerging trend whereby a party in a pre-election or election matter, after exhausting his remedies sometimes up to the Supreme Court still pursues a parallel cause of action under the guise of judicial review hoping that one of such parallel actions may succeed, thereby making the court to contradict itself, resulting in a great embarrassment to the system.
“I am saying these because soon the tempo of political activities will pick up and some lawyers will stop at nothing in their effort to outsmart the Bench; so be very careful and as I have always said, be on top of your game by mastering the principles of laws and facts relevant to the case or issues involved in the dispute so as not to allow legal practitioners to mislead you to the embarrassment of the judiciary.”