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Some Politicians Threaten Judges On Political Matters In Court – CJN Ariwoola

 Justice Olukayode Ariwoola

Justice Olukayode Ariwoola

Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, stated that judges are often intimidated by politicians and other political stakeholders over their court cases to receive favourable judgements.

The CJN expressed that the attention and emotions attached to political matters in Nigeria, makes the work of judges more excruciating, painstaking and, sometimes, endangering.

He added however that despite the operating circumstances, judicial officers must not succumb to pressure, but must always be guided by the rule of law in discharging their duties.

 Justice Ariwoola made the submission at the opening session of a two-day workshop organised by the Court of Appeal for the review of last year’s election petition tribunals/courts and appeals on Monday in Abuja.

He cautioned judges and other judicial officers against succumbing to public opinions, emotions, or sentiments while performing their duties.

Justice Ariwoola noted that “political matters always tend to occupy the front burner of our adjudicatory activities as all the subsisting electoral laws have placed some time frame within which they must be heard and decided.”

He added: “Besides, the kind of attention and emotions attached to political matters in this country has collectively made our work more excruciating, painstaking and, sometimes, endangering, as we are occasionally exposed to threats, especially from some elements within the political fold.

“But like I always say, no amount of threat or intimidation should make a thoroughbred judicial officer to deviate from the law and pander to public sentiments and emotions, which are often misplaced.”

The CJN advised judicial officers to be guided by their conscience, noting that, “Once our conscience leads the way, every other good thing will naturally follow.”

The President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, announced that 99 panels, comprising three judges each, heard the litigations that arose from the 2023 general election.

The PCA noted that due to this, a huge number of judges were taken out of the judicial system during the process.

She described last year’s election litigation season as very difficult and challenging in view of the volume of cases filed and commended the judicial officers involved for a job well done.

Dongban-Mensem, however, urged the workers to learn from the inadequacies of this year and improve on their shortcomings.

On his part, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Justice Minister, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) hailed the Judiciary for the stabilising role it plays in the nation’s electoral process.


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