The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen has assured that the judiciary will attend to disputes arising from the 2019 general elections with fairness.
Justice Onnoghen made this declaration yesterday at the inauguration of 30 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) at the Supreme Court Complex in Abuja.
“As we prepare for the 2019 general elections, I reiterate that the judiciary will in determining electoral disputes, continue to play the role of Independent and dispassionate arbiter without fear or favour; affection or ill-will.
“However, the court must partner with key stakeholders to play a critical role in the sensitization and voter education to ensure that eligible members of the public are properly enlightened,” he said.
While noting that the Supreme Court treated 1, 439 cases including motions, 438 appeals and 192 criminal matters in the previous year, he pledged the commitment of the judiciary to the speedy dispensation of justice.
Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) reiterated the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to the independence of the judiciary.
He said the directive that every fund standing to the credit of the various courts be paid to the heads of the courts in line with the provisions of the Constitution, was a display of that commitment.
The AGF, who was represented by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dayo Apata suggested a review of the judicial long vacations to a staggered vacations regime for judges to prevent the annual shutdown of the judiciary.
The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Paul Usoro (SAN) charged the new SANs to be humble in their relations with other lawyers, explaining that the privilege bestowed by the new rank could be withdrawn at any time on grounds of misconduct.
Thirty one individuals were shortlisted out of the 164 lawyers who applied for the rank. However, the CJN said Ikhide Ehighelua was dropped by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) over misconduct.
Among the inductees is the first female professor to become a SAN, Oluyemisi Adefunke Bamgbose.