Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, says he will no longer tolerate the culture of judges delivering conflicting ex parte orders.
Mr. Muhammad issued the warning Monday in Abuja at a marathon meeting with seven state chief judges invited over conflicting ex parte orders.
According to a statement by Soji Oye, Supreme Court director of information, the meeting, one-on-one interaction with the CJN commenced at 11:00 a.m. and lasted until 5:30 p.m.
State chief judges that attended the meeting include the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Rivers, Kebbi, Cross River, Jigawa, Anambra, and Imo.
The chief judges were separately questioned for over an hour before the CJN read them the riot act in a joint session.
Mr. Oye said the CJN had vowed to make an example of three of the seven, saying, “never shall we condone such acts.”
According to the statement, the three judges will appear before the National Judicial Council to show why disciplinary actions should not be taken against them.
Mr. Muhammad was quoted as stating, “damage to one jurisdiction is damage to all. We must, therefore, put an end to indiscriminate granting of ex parte orders, conflicting judgments, or rulings occasioned by forum shopping.
Your job as Heads of Court is a sacred one, and it, therefore, includes taking the sins of others.
There must be an end to this nonsense. You shall henceforth take absolute charge in assigning cases or matters, especially political ones, personally,” he said.
He asked the judges to “protect the court from lawyers that are out for forum shopping and work in tandem with all their Judges to salvage the image of the Judiciary.
Stop making newly appointed judicial officers vacation judges and assigning complex cases to inexperienced Judges,” he added.
Mr. Oye said the CJN disclosed that all Heads of Courts would be invited to a meeting to re-emphasize the need for circumspect in noting ex parte orders, pledging to also meet with the NBA leadership on the issue.