back to top

Nigerian Chief Justice Warns Judges Against Bowing To Public Opinion

Justice Ariwoola stressed that judges must not yield to public opinions, emotions, or sentiments, despite threats or intimidation.


The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Olukayode Ariwoola, has issued a stern reminder to judicial officers about the importance of maintaining integrity and independence in their duties. Speaking at the opening session of a two-day workshop organized by the Court of Appeal in Abuja on Monday, Justice Ariwoola stressed that judges must not yield to public opinions, emotions, or sentiments, despite threats or intimidation.

The workshop, aimed at reviewing the 2023 election petition tribunals and appeals, provided a platform for Justice Ariwoola to underscore the challenges faced by the judiciary in politically charged cases.

“Political matters always tend to occupy the front burner of our adjudicatory activities,” he noted, emphasizing the pressure and threats that often accompany such cases.

Justice Ariwoola reiterated that no amount of external pressure should lead a judge to act unconstitutionally. “Media trials can never hoodwink a judicial officer to begin to do what is unconstitutional and at variance with our extant laws,” he asserted, highlighting the detrimental effects of public scrutiny and media influence on judicial proceedings.

In addition to calling for judicial integrity, the CJN warned against the abuse of power within the judiciary. “As judicial officers, we should be very mindful of the enormous confidence the public reposed in us and their great expectations,” he said.

He reminded his colleagues of the significant responsibility they hold, likening their role to that of placeholders for God on earth.

Justice Ariwoola also addressed the issue of corruption within the judiciary, vowing that any judicial officer found engaging in misconduct would face severe consequences.

“There will never be room for any sacred cow in the Judiciary,” he declared, urging all judicial officers to uphold the highest standards of integrity and professionalism.

The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, echoed similar sentiments, reflecting on the challenges of the 2023 election litigation season. She called for amendments to certain sections of the Constitution and the Electoral Act to improve the judicial process.

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, commended the judiciary for its role in stabilizing Nigeria’s electoral process.

He highlighted the pivotal role of the Court of Appeal in shaping and strengthening the nation’s electoral jurisprudence.

Read more

Local News