Supreme Court to get 21 judges as required by constitution - CJN, Aliullah

Supreme Court to get 21 judges as required by constitution – CJN, Aliullah

Nigeria’s Chief Justice, CJN Justice Olukayode Aliwula, revealed on Monday that for the first time in its history, the Supreme Court will immediately have its constitutionally mandated 21 judges.

He said the development was meant to save the Supreme Court from a wave of retirements that had pushed the number of judges to an all-time low of just 10 for the first time.

Justice Aliwula disclosed this at the commencement of the Court’s 2023/2024 statutory year and the induction ceremony of 58 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) held at the Supreme Court Buildings.

The CJN explained that the fight to field 21 Supreme Court justices, as required by law, had been initiated by his predecessor, but the effort failed before he left office.

However, he said that upon taking office on June 27, 2022, he immediately began to take up the fight, especially because of the urgent and pressing need.

He said: “We do not yet agree with them, but I can say convincingly to the litigating public that the Supreme Court of Nigeria will very soon, for the first time in the history of Nigeria, “He will be given a full constitutional sentence,” he said. Complement of 21 Judges.”

“This is one of the legacies that I have worked hard to leave behind. Since this law was enacted several years ago, the courts have been subject to a ‘jinx’ of not meeting constitutional requirements. is.”

Speaking about the fate that befell the judiciary, he said, “Our courts should be trusted at home and abroad for their high level of respect for the rule of law and the institutional and personal independence of the judiciary.” added.

The CJN said that there is a need to give adequate legal protection to the independence of the judiciary, not only at the federal level but also at the state level, so that it is seen as truly and truly independent in all its implications. insisted.

“The rule of law and the overall independence of the judiciary should be respected by all at all times. As the Chief Justice of Nigeria, I will do everything in my power to ensure that nourishment remains part of my responsibility. We’re going to do everything.

“Today’s judicial system is more deserving of the public’s trust and confidence than ever before. And we hold our beloved country remarkable for its adherence to the rule of law and the tenets of constitutionalism. We are ready to reposition it for effective justice delivery, to make it a destination.

“This is a solemn pledge that, as a judicial institution, we will work even harder and tirelessly to ensure that our country earns the utmost respect and trust from both the people and the international community.”

He advised all judicial officers serving within our jurisdictions to arm themselves with books and work hard at their weapons to face the headwinds of ignorance, conservatism and stagnation.

“Such judges who do not maintain the highest standards of integrity have no right to continue presiding as judicial officers. Similarly, if a judicial officer is found to be corrupt, such a sacred judge are not allowed to sit on the chair.

“As I said, there are different shades of fear and favor, so solve cases without fear or favor and be bold in all your decisions. Fear of pressure from others, public criticism, etc.

“As some people often misunderstand, favoritism comes not only in financial terms, but also through nepotism, personal bias and prejudice. If we want to maintain public confidence in the judiciary, , we should all know that the river of judicial proceedings must be kept pure.

“On that basis, we must avoid fear and favor at all costs. The river of justice will remain tainted. There is no doubt about it!

“Therefore, it is our solemn responsibility to keep the river clean at all times. Needless to say, impartiality is the hallmark of a judge. I therefore advise all of us to always be impartial in all judgments. .

Regarding the performance of the Supreme Court last year, the CJN said that from September 12, 2022 to July 11, 2023, 1,271 cases, including petitions and appeals, were submitted to the court. Of these, the court heard 388 political appeals, 215 criminal appeals and 464 civil appeals, he said.

Similarly, the court considered a total of 49 criminal complaints, 153 civil complaints and two political complaints, he said.

He said that from September 30, 2022 to July 11, 2023, the court issued a total of 251 judgments. Of these, 125 were political appeals, 81 were civil appeals, and 45 were criminal appeals.

“During the review period (10 months to be exact), the court issued a total of 91 judgments.”

The CJN has changed the new SAN to monitor what they say, what they do, and how they interact with them. This is because they have already assumed the role of court ministers and are now expected to assist the court in achieving justice, fairness and impartiality in all its implications.

“As guardians of justice, you must demonstrate great integrity, discipline and high standards of advocacy,” the CJN said.

“The privileges granted to you today do not in any way make you a superhuman, for humility and self-control remain essential tools in combating life’s weaknesses.”

While celebrating the successes recorded in the past legal year in disposing of cases, I urge all Nigerians to litigate less and out-of-court in order to free the courts from unnecessary overburdens. I would like to advise you that it is essential to be more proactive in conflict resolution. both in human and material resources.

I have made it clear on various occasions that not all disputes have to go to court, and not all issues have to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

“Our laws need to be changed to ensure that most appeals end in the Court of Appeal. Well-resourced. In every conflict, only one party must win. And it is transparent and wins after intense legal fireworks based solely on the existing laws of the land. may be obtained.

“We are not importing foreign law to try our cases here, as some litigants desperately want us to do in order to win.” You can not.

“If we truly want to progress as a nation and collectively build a sound legal framework that best serves our interests, we must begin to change our attitudes.


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