Law News
Some senior lawyers behind corruption in judiciary —CJN

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, has alleged that some senior lawyers are behind the increased level of corruption bedevilling the judiciary.

The CJN, who made the allegation when

Justice Mahmud Mohammed

the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, led by its National President, Chief Augustine Alegeh, SAN, paid him a courtesy visit at the weekend, insisted that corrupt politicians often use lawyers to tempt judges with bribes.

He maintained that some lawyers not only aid, but equally abet corruption within the Bench, a situation he said portends danger for the justice system in the country.

Therefore, the CJN tasked the NBA to put in more effort towards purging itself of ‘some corrupt elements’ within its fold.

Other Justices of the Supreme Court that joined the CJN to receive the visitor were Justices Mohammed Tanko Ibrahim, John Fabiyi, and Bode Rhodes-Vivour.

Addressing the delegation, the CJN vowed to re-invigorate the judicial cleansing process that was commenced by his predecessors, decrying that lawyers have so far acted as clog to the process of weeding out corrupt judges from the Bench.

He said senior lawyers were usually the first people to rush to court to secure an order of injunction restraining the National Judicial Council, NJC, from investigating judges that acted wrongly.

He said: “I want to use this opportunity to urge the Bar to put the interest of the system far and above the individuals. Imagine this scenario; you in the Bar decry the ‘rots’ on the Bench, calling for disciplining and cleansing of the judiciary by weeding out the bad eggs on the Bench.

“Yet, you are the first to jump to the court to seek restraining order on NJC to stop it from the investigation and trial of a judge based on a petition brought against the judge before the council. How then is the principle of fair hearing sustained?”


On Rivers Judiciary

More so, the CJN urged the NBA to intervene and find a solution to the protracted impasse that has left the Rivers State Judiciary without a substantive Chief Judge for so many months now.

“The perpetual closure of court in River State is unacceptable. NJC has never said governors cannot appoint state Chief Judges.

“But the violation of the principle of checks and balances by state governor in Rivers State as enshrined in the constitution for the appointment and disciplining of erring Chief Judges or Judges is equally unacceptable. Seniority is part and parcel of the legal profession.”

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