The Chief justice of Nigeria, CJN, Walter Onnoghen, has urged Nigerians to desist from making disparaging remarks about the nation’s judiciary but rather to approach the National Judicial Council in cases of perceived wrong doing by judicial officers.
Onnoghen, speaking during a thanksgiving service held at the Methodist Church Nigeria, Abuja diocese, noted that judicial officers in the country were being accused of corruption without given the chance of fair hearing.
“The judiciary is under threat,” he said. “Judges and judicial officers, including myself, are being castigated without giving the opportunity to be heard, but God knows our heart.”
He advised Nigerians not to hesitate to petition any judicial officer involved in any form of corruption or unprofessional conduct to the NJC.
Also, in a statement later issued by his senior special assistant on media, Awassan Bassey, the CJN warned individuals, especially politicians to quit “dragging the name of the judiciary in the mud through unsubstantiated allegations in the mass media.”
Onnoghen cited an instance with a former member of the Senate, Uche Ekwunife, who after she was removed by the appeal court as the Senator representing Anambra central senatorial district, went to press claiming that the judiciary “robbed her of her mandate”.
He urged anybody with any grievances against the judiciary to go through the right channel to petition their allegations.
The CJN also thanked God for helping him get to the pinnacle of his career.
“I did not set out to be a judge but today, I am a judge by divine intervention. It’s the Lord’s doing, mine is to follow,” he said.
“My prayer is that God should help me and should not let me down.