CJN To Quiz 6 Chief Judges On Monday

CJN To Quiz 6 Chief Judges On Monday

By Wires Editor | The Trent on September 5, 2021
the trent, CJN
Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed

Tanko Muhammad, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, will on Monday, September 6, 2021, query the six Chief Judges he summoned to an emergency meeting over conflicting court orders that emanated from their judicial divisions within the last one month.

A top source in office of the CJN disclosed to Vanguard that the meeting will hold in-camera at the conference room of the National Judicial Council, NJC, situated inside the Supreme Court complex.

“Already, the CJN has demanded the records of proceedings in all the suits from which all the conflicting exparte orders emanated”, the source added.

The CJs the CJN ordered to appear before him on Monday are those of  Rivers, Kebbi, Cross River, Anambra, Jigawa, and Imo States.

They are expected to explain the rationale behind the incessant granting of conflicting ex-parte applications by judges in their divisions, especially on suits that were instituted by members of various political parties.

Besides, Vanguard learned that the CJN has also extended the summon to the Chief Judge of Delta State High Court.

Justice Muhammad who doubles as Chairman of the NJC, had in a memo dated August 30, summoned the CJs to Abuja for the ad-hoc meeting.

The memo read in part: “My attention has been drawn to media Rmreports to the effect that some Courts of coordinate jurisdiction were granting conflicting Exparte Orders on the same subject matter.

“It has become expedient for me to invite you for a detailed briefing on the development.

“This is even more compelling having regard to earlier NJC‘s warning to judicial officers on the need to be circumspect in granting Exparte applications”.

The leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, had earlier said it would urgently seek an audience with the CJN over what it described as “unfortunate and recurring trend of contradictory court decisions and orders, especially among courts of coordinate jurisdiction, typically arising from ex parte applications and almost always in political matters”.

The legal body equally alleged that some of its senior members are yielding themselves to politicians to be used as willing tools to wantonly abuse the judicial process.

“Regrettably, we have begun to receive worrying news of recurring contradictory decisions by our courts, based on apparently indiscriminate grant of orders and counter-orders, in a way that evokes memories of those eerie and unwanted dark days.

“Examples include the orders relating to the nomination of candidates by political parties for the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Anambra State, especially by the three major political parties, All Progressives Congress (APC), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“An equally embarrassing situation is also playing out in respect of the PDP leadership crisis that has seen not less than three different rulings, all by courts of coordinate jurisdiction, in circumstances that leave a lot to be desired.

“While the NBA will continue to stay away from the political ramifications and machinations involved in these matters, it is self-evident that these developments in our courts are antithetical to the actualisation of the just society and independent judiciary that we all aspire to, and they run contrary to everything we teach and hold dear as a profession.

“Indeed, these aberrations do nothing but bring the Judiciary and the entire system of administration of justice to ridicule, and certainly erode the authority of the hallowed offices that our judicial officers occupy.

“If the society cannot trust the Judiciary and the legal profession to safeguard our democracy, what then is the justification for the respect that the society has for us?”, the NBA queried in a statement it made available to journalists through its National President, Mr. Olumide Akpata.

Source: Vanguard

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