Don’t Judge Judiciary, CJN Warns …Urges Nigerians To Be Guided By Facts

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Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, yesterday, warned Nigerians to desist from being judgmental on the performance of the judiciary in the ongoing anti-corruption fight.
He spoke with State House correspondents shortly after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Onnoghen was reacting to recent developments that saw government agencies losing corruption-related cases in court and the allegations of judicial gang-up.
The CJN warned that Nigerians who are judging the judiciary are at the risk of becoming prejudice.
He said, “I have told you that if you are not satisfied, the system is fashioned and designed in such a way that if you lose in the magistrate court and you are not satisfied; because someone must win and another must lose; so the loser has the chance of testing the decision on appeal.
“When it comes to the judiciary, don’t be judgmental. When you are judgmental, you become prejudice.”
When asked to respond specifically to allegation of judicial gang-up against the corruption fight, Onnoghen said, “I am not going to speculate. I am lawyer and judicial officer. I operate on facts and the law. So, I can’t answer that question because I am not on everybody’s mind.
“You are free to think whatever you want to think but I think you should be guided by facts and the law when it comes to judicial performance or discharge of judicial responsibilities.”
The CJN said there was no truth in the claim that the corruption war is losing steam.
He said if there was steam, it would not have been without the participation of the judiciary, hence, if there is losing of steam, it should not be related only to the judiciary.
He said while there are more than one party to an issue, the judicial system is fashioned in such a way that there must be winners and losers.
At the last count, the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecuting corruption charges against certain individuals in the country had lost about four cases.
The cases included corruption charges brought against former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, Justice Adeniyi Ademola and Chief Mike Ozokhome (SAN).