The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, said, on Thursday, that the reform in the judiciary has begun, with the implementation of the 2014 Revised National Judicial Council Guidelines and Procedural Rules for the appointment of Judicial Officers of all Superior Courts.
He said that “the National Judicial Council (NJC), is not a venue for venting dissatisfaction with the decisions of courts.”
Justice Mohammed stated this, in an address, he delivered at the swearing-in of Justice Amiru Sanusi, as a member of the Supreme Court’s bench.
He said it is worrisome that an erroneous impression had been formed in the minds of some Nigerians about the roles of National Judicial Council.
“Some litigants and their counsel no longer avail themselves of appropriate judicial processes, but would rather petition to the Council.”
“A most worrisome trend has begun to emerge where petitions are now written to the NJC against the decisions of the Supreme Court.”
The NJC, he said, was not a venue for venting dissatisfaction with the decisions of our courts.
He said that the judiciary remains resolute in its commitment and resolve in the performance of its assigned roles under a constitutional democracy.
Stating that Justice Amiru Sanusi was the first judicial officer to be appointed under the 2014 guidelines, the CJN added that the new guidelines provided for a more comprehensive, robust and transparent method that ensure the emergence of the best legal minds and high moral standards as judges.
Essentially, the guidelines eliminate lobbying, exhibition of bad behaviour in and out of court, influence-peddling, rendering of dishonest or questionable legal opinions, submission of false credentials among others.
The newly enacted guidelines bring the Judiciary into an era where the eligibility of a candidate for appointment to the Bench would no longer be based on nepotism, familial or fraternal connections.