CJN Launches NJP, Inaugurates Ethics Committee

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The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmoud Mohammed, has launched a National Judiciary Policy (NJP) and also inaugurated the Ethics Standing Committee.

The aim is to provide an oversight over judicial offices and court staff, to ensure integrity and independence of the Nigerian judiciary.

The CJN added that the NJP would serve as a legal backing for several multi-faceted strategies and guidelines to be developed by the judiciary to continue to rid the sector of acts that are not in line with the rule of law and due process.

He says even though the policy and the decision to set up the committee pre-dates the events of October 7 and 8, 2016 [arrest of judges], at ensuring discipline among judicial officers and quality justice delivery.

Seven judges in Nigeria were arrested and detained for corruption and breach of professional ethics.

The policy, he adds, will have no effect, if it is not adequately enforced.

To ensure enforcement, the CJN also inaugurated a 10-man Ethics Standing Committee headed by former CJN, Justice Legbo Kutigi, and has as members former retired chief justices and the president of the Nigerian Bar Association.

According to the former CJN, the move will put to rest a long held belief that the judiciary lacked a far reaching discipline structure.

The policy provides guidelines on judicial discipline, code of conduct, performance, independence of the judiciary, judicial transparency and anti-corruption.

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