CJN Bars Judges From Discussing Matters Of Public Interest On Internet

Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen,
Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen,

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, Monday warned said it was wrong for judicial officers to discuss matters of public interest on the internet.

Onnoghen who spoke at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Induction Course for newly appointed Judges and Kadis, at the National Judicial Institute, NJI, in Abuja,warned judges to desist from uploading pictures of their personal activities on social media platforms.

The CJN, said, “As judicial officers, you must refrain from matters of public interest on the internet and social media.

“You must also desist from uploading pictures of your personal activities online. In the light of the aforesaid, caution is obviously the operative word.”

Aside from enjoining the new Judges to always be punctual, the CJN also implored them to deploy Information and CommunicationTechnology, ICT, tools in the discharge of their duties.

“At this juncture, let me hasten to admonish your lordships to always be punctual to court sittings. You must be an exemplary Judge and also be seen as manifesting the enviable virtues of the judiciary.

”This will in turn improve judicial practice as well as contribute to fleshing out what judicial virtues consist of.

“It is apt to mention that technology continues to match inexorably onward in today’s society. As a result, those within the legal community and judges in particular have no choice but to deploy ICT tools in the discharge of their duties. This will definitely aid in managing the pace of cases in courts,” the CJN added.

In her welcome address, the Administrator of the NJI, Justice R.P.I. Bozimo, described the theme of the induction course, ‘Inculcating Judicial Branch Excellence in Newly Appointed Judicial Officers’, as most suitable, saying the essence of the course was for the new Judges to learn basic tools that will enhance their performance.

“Let me state categorically that as judicial officers, you should always strive to be above board.  The indispensable attributes of a Judge include integrity, impartiality, honesty, transparency and the fear of God,” Justice Bozimo stated.

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In a related development, the CJN yesterday swore in nine new Judges recently elevated to the Federal High Court bench, even as he warned them to abide by their oath of office and provisions of the constitution.

“Do not make yourselves available to be used as a scapegoat by politicians or anybody because when the chips are down, you know will have yourself to blame.

“You should, therefore, avoid anything that will bring disrepute to the judiciary. Let integrity be your watchword. Be bold and courageous. When you are guided by judicial precedents and the law, you can never go wrong. Even if you go wrong, that is why the Court of Appeal is there,” the CJN said.

Those that took oath as new FHC Judges include Sunday Bassey Onu, Mrs. Adefunmilola Adekemi Demi-Ajayi, Peter O. Lifu, Obiora Atuegwu Egwuata, Sa’adatu Ibrahim Mark (Mrs), Mobolaji Olubukola Olajuwon, Aminu Bappa Aliyu, Tijjani Garba Ringim and Nkeonye Evelyn Maha.

Among dignitaries at the event were governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, and his Ondo State counterpart, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN.