The National Judicial Committee, NJC, has appointed a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, to head a 10-man Ethics Committee.
Other members are Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola; former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Umaru Abdullahi; President of the National Industrial Court, Justice Babatunde Adejumo.
Also on the list are Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Ishaq Bello; President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN; two retired Justices of the Supreme Court, as well as former President of the NBA, Chief Okey Wali, SAN.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, who inaugurated the committee shortly after he unveiled the new National Judicial Policy, urged it “to do all such things necessary to ensure a continuous high standard of judicial accountability and probity; to monitor and report on laxity by judicial officers in observance of ethical standards in the performance of judicial duties.”
The CJN said the National Judicial Policy, NJP, was borne out of the realization that the Nigerian Judiciary had been adversely affected by the absence of a clear, co-ordinated policy framework that defines its core morals, values, objectives and aspirations.
He said such concerns bordered on the need to make qualitative and integrity-driven dispensation of justice, which is transparent, honest and trustworthy the hallmark of a transformed Nigerian Judiciary.
The CJN acknowledged that corruption is the greatest single menace challenging the justice system in Nigeria, saying the judiciary was committed to weed out bad eggs from its ranks, “strictly with due process and the rule of law.”
He said: “It is indeed a privilege to witness and celebrate the launching of the National Judicial Policy 2016, which will herald a steady transformation of the Nigerian Judiciary. This document is a meticulously considered and well-drafted response to calls for the Judiciary to reform and harmonize its standards.
“I am therefore pleased to say, following great efforts by the Council, this Policy will indeed tick the right boxes, while launching this great institution, the Nigerian Judiciary, into a new level and trajectory that will signal the re-birth, re-invigoration and re-dedication to nobler values that distinguish us.
“We could not ignore the fact that today we are faced with misguided impressions as to the operations of our Judiciary, while its more laudable qualities and achievements are arcane to some fellow Nigerians.
“Thus, our resolve and commitment to a publicly accessible, value-and-integrity driven policy for our courts, caused some of the brightest minds in the Judiciary to be gathered together in order to create a clear and credible road map towards the transformation in the Judiciary that fellow citizens expect in Nigeria.”