The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, on Monday warned judges of superior courts in Nigeria against the use of technicalities in deciding cases brought before them.
Justice Muhammad, who noted that the judiciary plays a critical role in sustaining the nation’s democracy, admonished judges to leave above board so as to win the confidence of Nigerians at all times.
The CJN was speaking at the opening of the 2019 All Nigeria Judges’ Conference of Superior Courts holding at the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Abuja.
“I must not fail to mention however, that in order to sustain public confidence in the Judiciary, judges must continue to be proactive by not allowing technicalities to stand in the way of substantive justice,” Muhammad said.
According to him, relying on technicalities in justice dispensation contributes to delay of justice delivery.
While stressing that technicalities in itself sometimes constitute unreasonable delay in dispensing with cases, the CJN emphasised that timely disposition of cases by judges, “will in no small measure shore up public confidence in the Judiciary”.
He disclosed that urgent reforms are being put in place to help reduce the heavy workload on the dockets of judges.
“In our desire to curb the delay in justice delivery, we have automated the Nigerian Judiciary.
“We have also developed and deployed the Nigerian Case Management System (NCMS) software. Indeed, the backbone of the court automation project is the Nigerian Case Management System (NCMS),” Mohammad said.
He therefore solicited the support and cooperation of judges for the reform, which he said, will impact positively on the Justice sector.
Earlier in a welcome, the Administrator of the NJI, Justice Rosaline Bozimo (rtd), said the theme of the conference, “Sustaining Democracy through Effective and Efficient Administration of Justice”, was timely and apt, considering the role of the judiciary in the country’s legal system.
“The theme of this year’s conference is apt and topical, as judicial integrity and rule of law are the underlying principles of justice and the bedrock of democracy,” she said.