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Judiciary and rule of law under threat—Chief Justice of Nigeria raises alarm

Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), has expressed concern regarding the increasing rate at which the country’s judiciary and the rule of law are being undermined.

Under his direction, the Judiciary, according to Justice Ariwoola, will no longer tolerate such disrespect for judicial institutions and officers, he stated.

He stated, ” I have to say it outright that the rule of law in this country has been attacked from all sides, particularly by those who are supposed to uphold and protect it with jealousy.

“Across the nation, our judicial officers, as well as court facilities, have been the targets of a variety of attacks, molestation, harassment, and desecration. This is no longer news.

“I want to make it clear to anyone who cares to listen that no one, regardless of their social status, should mistake our golden silence for weakness or vulnerability.

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“Under my direction, the Judiciary will not stand by and watch the ministers of justice and the temple of justice being blatantly reprimanded and silenced.

Nigeria is governed by the Constitution, and our conduct ought to be governed by the rule of law.

“Under any pretense, no one in this country is allowed to take the law into their own hands just because they have guns.”

The CJN stated, “The earlier judicial officers and the courts are respected, the better for us.”

On Tuesday, he gave a speech at a conference of Nigerian attorneys general in Abuja with the theme: improving the efficiency with which the federal and state governments in Nigeria’s justice system work together.

The CJN, who was represented by Supreme Court Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, gave the Attorneys-General at both the state and federal levels the responsibility of ensuring that the Judiciary was respected and protected.

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He expressed concern regarding the obstacles hindering the nation’s criminal justice system’s efficiency.

According to Justice Ariwoola, We can’t afford for you, the Attorneys General, to disappoint us. You must not allow the court to suffer.

Your actions should not be influenced by your perceived enemy’s oppression or suppression.

“Chief Judges must not go cap-in-hand to beg for funds to run their courts, and judicial officers must not be subjected to intimidation and reprimand. We have faith in you. Please do not disappoint us.

In every society, there is no substitute for the rule of law. Similarly, in the administration of justice, there is no shortcut to equity and fairness.

We are all entirely responsible for the burden. In order to uphold the rule of law and fully implement the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), we are connected both locally and remotely with the Nigerian justice system.

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The criminal justice system has failed in so many ways, from all indications. To solve the issue, coordinated and immediate actions are required.

“This unpleasant situation must change immediately, and I am absolutely certain that tremendous results will be achieved with the crop of conference participants.

The majority of laws in the justice sector will have significant obstacles that stakeholders will be able to identify.

According to Justice Ariwoola’s statement, “I, therefore, urged us all, from this moment and in our various capacities, to begin taking a comprehensive approach to the effective and seamless administration of criminal justice and the implementation of the rule of law.”

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