CJN Urges Judges to Reposition Courts for Better Justice Delivery

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has urged judicial officers to enhance the functioning of courts to improve justice delivery in the country. This directive was particularly aimed at magistrates and judges of the lower courts due to their direct interaction with grassroots communities.

Justice Ariwoola made this call while inaugurating an induction course for newly appointed magistrates and judges of the lower courts. He emphasized the crucial role these courts play in the judicial system, noting that their proximity to the grassroots makes them vital in ensuring that justice is accessible and efficiently administered.

The CJN stressed the importance of these judicial officers in maintaining the integrity and effectiveness of the legal system. By strengthening the operations of lower courts, he believes that the overall quality of justice delivery in Nigeria can be significantly improved, addressing the needs and concerns of the public more effectively.

The induction course serves as a platform to equip the new magistrates and judges with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform their duties effectively. Justice Ariwoola’s charge underscores the need for continuous professional development and adherence to high ethical standards among judicial officers.

“In my opinion, your positioning as magistrates and judges of the lower courts is one that is of utmost importance since your closeness to the grassroots and often as the first points of contact for the bulk of the citizenry, has the tendency to make or mar the perception of the Judiciary in the eyes of the public,” Ariwoola, who was represented by Justice Lawal Garba, stated.

While observing that the new judicial officers are mounting the bench at a time when several notable reforms are being made and numerous challenges facing the sector are being addressed, the CJN urged them to see their appointment as an opportunity to serve, make a difference, rather than for personal gains.

According to him, they should be guided by the law always and the desire to see that justice and equity prevails at all times and in all situations.

He also advised the new magistrates and judges to pay rapt attention throughout the training session, so as to have necessary skills that would enhance their performance on the bench.

In a welcome, the Administrator of the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Justice Salish Garba, challenged judges to remain steadfast, fair to all and display a high level of integrity in the course of their job.

The administrator stressed that by their respective appointments, the new magistrates and judges “have become persons who have subordinated or given up their personal desires and aspirations and become committed to addressing injustice, protecting the rule of law, promoting equality before the law and the human rights of the people of our dear country Nigeria”.

He disclosed that the induction course was designed to help them understand the intricacies and techniques involved in adjudication and judicial proceedings and the expectations placed on them by litigants, court users and the general public who are interested in justice, human rights and the maintenance of the rule of law.