The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, says there is independence for the third arm of government under his leadership.
Muhammad stated this in Lagos at the opening ceremony of the 2019 edition of the Nigerian Bar Association Annual General Conference holding at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island
He said, “Since my appointment as the Chief Justice, my focus has been on reinventing our processes, providing speedy and quality administration of justice, strengthening our structures from the Supreme Court to other courts of records and stamping out corruption from the system.”
Muhammad said the judiciary under him was embracing technology to fast-track its processes, adding that Supreme Court and Court of Appeal Justices had forgone their annual vacation this year to clear the backlog of “time-sensitive cases.”
He admonished lawyers to desist from the practice of filing needless appeals at the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, warning that the apex court would be unsparing in punishing “blatant abusers of the court processes.”
Muhammad added that the judiciary, under his leadership, would not lose “its firm grip on the mantle of honesty, transparency and integrity.”
The CJN, who said those three virtues formed the nucleus of his administration, said the judges do not look at anybody’s face or feelings in deciding cases.
He added, “By the grace of Almighty God, I will tenaciously hold onto that even until that very moment of my last breath on earth.
“Let me assure this assembly, we don’t look at anybody’s face or feelings before making our decisions.
“If there is any deity to be feared, that deity is the Almighty God. We will never be subservient to anybody, no matter how highly placed.
“Please, all that are concerned, let us enjoy our independence. If you say that I am independent, but in a way whether I like it or not, I have to go and bend down, asking (for funds) I have lost my independence.”