New Judicial Reform Underway, Says CJN

THE Chief Justice of Nigeria CJN Justice Walter Onnoghen has said that a new comprehensive reform that will adequately address and clear all the rot in the nation’s judicial system will soon be unfolded by the Judiciary under his watch.
Justice Onnoghen said the sweeping reform when implemented will make the Judiciary in the country one of the best in the world.

Receiving the final report of the 13-man steering committee set up to undertake a holistic review of the operations of the country’s judiciary system, the CJN challenged all the judicial officers and the entire judiciary workers across the country to brace up for the challenges that will be posed by the coming reform.

While commending the reform committee headed by the Secretary of the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC), Mrs Bilikisu Bashir for a detail recommendation on the reform, he assured that the report will be implemented to salvage the judicial system.

According to him, “The committee is a very crucial in the history of Nigeria’s Judiciary. At least, it is our duty to lay the first foundation for solving our problem, nobody will come from outside to salvage the Nigerian Judiciary. The solution must come from within us. We have to do so because if we don’t, the whole edifice will fall on our heads and we will have ourselves to blame.”

Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee and Secretary of the FJSC, Bilkisu Bashir, while submitting the report, told the CJN that her committee interacted with several stakeholders, including retired Chief Justices of Nigeria, as well as serving and retired Justices and Judges to arrive at resolutions in line with the terms of reference.

In her words: “The committee was inaugurated on the 5th June 2017 with a time frame of one month. Our belief is that this report is only but a scratch. It is something that His Lordship will work with and improve upon. From the discussions we had with the stakeholders, it is obvious that everyone wants to key into this reform programme of the Honourable CJN.”

The Terms of Reference of the Committee include among others, carrying out a comprehensive analysis of the administrative structure and operations of the three arms of the government with a view to exploring areas of comparative advantage and mutual cooperation.

“To undertake a comprehensive review of the operations and condition of service of the Nigeria Judiciary with a view to enhancing general efficiency and effectiveness.

“To recommend long and short-term measures that would help in the general improvement of the welfare/condition of service of both judicial and non-judicial officers;

“To call for memoranda from former CJNs, Presidents Court of Appeal, Chief Registrars, and other stakeholders on the way forward, to create a professional/management structure for the administration of the Judiciary, to create a professional bailiffs and sheriffs’/judiciary police department, to propose a pooling policy and recommend a rule to empower the FJSC to commence the operation of a pooling system of senior officers within the judiciary.”

Others terms of reference are, to propose and recommend to the National Judicial Institute (NJI) the review of its training syllabus to include short term courses for certification of Judiciary Personnel with a view to enhancing their career development and to make any other recommendations that will help in repositioning the Judiciary for optimal performance.

Source: Sunday Ejike – Abuja
The Tribune News

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