The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, Wednesday tasked judges on the need to be circumspect in their handling of disputes relating to depositors’ funds.
Onnoghen, who noted that the judiciary plays an important role in ensuring financial system stability, noted that when dispute concerning the financial sector are resolved on time, it increases public confidence and assurance that deposits and investments are safe and secure.
He was speaking in Abuja while declaring open a one day sensitisation seminar for judges of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and states High Court, organised by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).
Onnoghen, who noted that the seminar is geared towards exposing judicial officers to the workings of the Banking sector with particular regard to Deposit Insurance Law and Practice, stressed that the theme of the seminar: ‘Challenges to Deposit Insurance Law and Practice in Nigeria’ is relevant to the on-going reforms in the financial sector in Nigeria.
“Distinguished participants, as we all know, the banking sector remains an ever present and enduring necessity to all Nigerians. As such, the need for legal and policy reform in this sector cannot be overemphasised and must continue to occupy our utmost participation and attention as judges,” he said.
While he stated that the speedy resolution of financial disputes is an economic development catalyst, as investors and other financial institutions will remain confident that their investments are safe, he assured the audience that the judiciary, on its part, will assiduously ensure that disputes are resolved in line with sacrosanct constitutional and statutory provisions.
In her welcome remarks, the Administrator of the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Justice Rosalyne Bozimo, said the seminar is relevant in the light of recent and burgeoning developments in Nigeria’s banking sector.
Bozimo, who observed that the banking sector is a dynamic one, charged judges to be in tune with the current and emerging practices in the sector.
“This seminar is aimed at better positioning judges to deal with complex contemporary financial disputes, and develop core competences in banking matters,” she said.
In a keynote, Managing Director, NDIC, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, disclosed that the NDIC decided to collaborate with the judiciary as part of efforts to reposition the corporation for operational excellence and its vision of becoming the leading deposit insurer in the world by the year 2020.
” It is pertinent to state that effective restoration of the legal issues involved in the operation of the deposit insurance system is critical to the achievement of the corporation’s statutory mandate”, he said.
Ibrahim said, the NDIC considers its collaboration with the judiciary as a valuable investment in the development of Nigeria’s financial system, “especially in these challenging times.