Acting CJN warns judges against frivolous political injunctions

Acting CJN warns judges against frivolous political injunctions

- Ibrahim Mohammed, the acting CJN, said judges will continue to do their best to ensure that judicial officers remain conversant with the provision of the electoral act 2010

- Mohammed urged the judges to guard the integrity of the judiciary by avoiding acts that will bring them under the disciplinary jurisdiction body

- Also speaking, INEC chairman said conflicting court orders are negatively affecting the consistency, neutrality, and public perception of not only of the commission, but the judiciary

Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, the acting Chief Justice of the Federation (CJN), cautioned judges against frivolous injunctions to politicians, saying any of them sitting on the election petitions must be upright.

Mohammed made this caution on Monday, January 28, in Abuja at the opening ceremony of a two-day workshop organised by INEC with support from European Centre for Electoral (ECES), and the National Judicial Institute (NJI).

Daily Trust reports that the acting CJN who was represented by the Court of Appeal president, Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, said judges must guard their integrity.

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He said: "You must guard your integrity and the integrity of the Judiciary by avoiding acts that will bring you under the disciplinary jurisdiction of the National Judicial Council as it will not hesitate to wield the bug of sanctions to any judicial officer who is found wanting in the discharge of his duties."

He pledged that they will continue to do their best to ensure that judicial officers remain conversant with the provision of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended and other relevant laws towards ensuring efficiency and uniformity in the quality of judgement.

Judicial officers were also advised to remain impartial and most importantly, shun any form of inducement. The acting CJN said it is madatory for them to analyze facts based on the applicable laws without prejudice.

On his part, the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, at the occasion, decried what it described as conflicting judgments that put the commission in difficult positions.

He said: “For our part, there are two major areas of concern. First is the issue of conflicting judgments arising from pre-election and post-election cases. As a firm believer in the rule of law, the commission always obeys court orders or, where it is considered necessary, appeals them in the interest of justice."

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According to him, there have been over 1,200 cases involving the commission since the 2015 general elections and not in a single case has the commission disobeyed a court order.

“However, conflicting judgments, especially by courts of coordinate jurisdiction at the High Court level are putting the commission in a very difficult position and creating uncertainty in the process.

“Conflicting court orders are negatively affecting the consistency, neutrality, and public perception not only of the commission, but the judiciary as well. There is therefore the urgent need to address the issue of conflicting judgements in order to engender certainty in the electoral process," he added.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that the office of the attorney-general of the federation has sent a list of criminal allegations against suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Water Onnoghen, to the National Judicial Council (NJC).

The reports further claimed that insiders at the Ministry of Justice said the petition contains a number of damaging allegations against the CJN, including bank statements and title deeds of properties said to have been traced to him.

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