Monday, October 24, 2016 11:22 pm
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmoud Mohammed, has said that measures were being taken to curb the menace of corruption in the justice sector.
Mohammed said this while unveiling a new National Judicial Policy put together by the National Judicial Council (NJC) at the National Judicial Institute in Abuja on Monday.
According to him, it will be stating the obvious to opine that the greatest single menace that challenges the justice system in Nigeria today is corruption.
“This endemic vice is not peculiar to any region and ethnic group, cutting across faiths, religious denominations, levels of education and economic status.
“Corruption has serious implications for both the rule of law and access to justice, and must be fought both institutionally and individually,” Mohammed said.
He further said: “this is why the National Judicial Policy contains clear provisions restating the sector’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
“This is clearly spelt out in Paragraph 5.1 of the National Judicial Policy 2016.
“The new Policy recognises that the greatest and most damaging challenge to administration of justice is corruption and that tackling this challenge must go beyond mere exhortation and sentiments,” he said.
He said the policy gave the legal backing for several multifaceted strategies and guidelines to be developed.
According to him, the sector will ride on the back of this new template to rid the system of corrupt tendencies.
Mohammed noted that the absence of such policy in the past brought about uneven growth of the Sector
“Certainly, the absence of this kind of blueprint has resulted in continouos demand for the transformation of the country’s Judiciary into a modern judicial system.
“For a number of years, each jurisdiction has had to muddle along in developing core values and objectives and this has led to a mixed bag of standards and policies.
“This has also been compounded by the challenging deprivations and paucity of resources, without which critical development was limited,” the CJN said.
Mohammed said the policy was a charter of commitment to the values that elevated not only judicial institutions, but also those employed by or involved in it.
According to him, the importance of the foundational virtues of discipline, efficiency, integrity and enduring commitment are reflected in the document.
He further said the policy would serve as a mechanism to facilitates a greater knowledge of the sector by the other arms of government.
A former Chief Justice of Nigeria, retired Justice Dahiru Musdapher, corroborated Mohammed’s views , and said the policy had come to fix most of the disjointed developments in the sector.
The event also featured the inauguration, by the CJN, of the Judicial Ethics Committee headed by Justice Idris Kutigi.
The committee is expected to conduct periodic surveys on behalf of the NJC on compliance with the policy as it affects the administration of justice and application of ethical standards. (NAN)