The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, has called on Nigerians to report any judge suspected to be corrupt or involved in other unprofessional conduct to the National Judicial Council (NJC) instead of making unsubstantiated allegations in the mass media against them.
Onnoghen stated this in a statement released by his Senior Special Assistant (Media), Mr. Awassam Bassey.
He was reacting to a newspaper publication by a former Senator, Uche Ekwunife, who “accused the judiciary of robbing her of her mandate in the 2015 Anambra Central senatorial election through nullification”.
The statement read, “Justice Onnoghen says Nigerians should learn to take advantage of institutions that have been established to handle allegations of corruption and unprofessional conduct by judicial officers, including cases of judicial fraud which the Senator cited as the reason for the loss of her mandate in the law courts.
“The Honourable Chief Justice advises against individuals dragging the name of the Judiciary in the mud through unsubstantiated allegations in the mass media and advises such individuals to employ well-established institutions and avenues to petition any judicial officer who engages in corruption and unprofessional conduct.
“Therefore, in the interest of the generality of Nigerians, and the ongoing war against corruption, the Chief Justice of Nigeria calls on Senator Ekwunife to petition the judges she accuses of corruption and unprofessional conduct.
“The Honourable CJN assures Nigerians that if anyone has evidence against any corrupt judicial officer, and such a person brings forward the necessary documents before the National Judicial Council, the concerned judicial officer or officers will be investigated and where found liable, dealt with in accordance with the law.”
The CJN further warned politicians to desist from employing the services of mass media to smear the good image of the nation’s Judiciary in general, and the hardworking and honest judicial officers in particular.
“His Lordship the Chief Justice calls on all law-abiding and hardworking judicial officers to go about discharging their duties without fear or favour,” the statement added.
The statement is coming even as the CJN while speaking at a thanksgiving service at Methodist Church of Nigeria, Abuja Dioces, Zone 3 on Sunday, said that Nigeria’s judiciary was under threat.
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