Victory for Wike as CJN rubbishes Court’s judgment

By Sanni Muhammed January 3, 2016 14:26

Victory for Wike as CJN rubbishes Court’s judgment

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, has expressed disappointment with the Electoral Tribunal and the Court of Appeal judges over what he termed “inconsistent decisions” being delivered in respect to various governorship and senatorial election petitions.

The CJN is said to have taken note of public complaints about contradicting decisions, particularly by divisions of the Court of Appeal, and expressed worries that this trend may be capable of eroding public confidence in the Judiciary.

Justice Mohammed stated this in Abuja during the 2015 edition of the Annual Conference of the Court of Appeal.

The CJN suggested that the Appeal Court creates “an internal law report for Justices to access either electronically or in print in order to reduce the avenue for conflict in its jurisprudence.”

He also drew the attention of Justices of the Court of Appeal to the suggestion made in 2008 by a retired Supreme Court Justice, Niki Tobi, to the effect that “immediately a decision is given in one division, it should be sent to the other divisions without delay.

The CJN argued that judges, being guardians of the law, “must not only be just, but also convey certainty in our justness.”

“It bears reminding that the overriding objective of every legal system in the world is to do justice. However, this cannot be achieved where there is confusion as to the state of the law as pronounced by the court.

“As your lordships will agree, where an aggrieved person perceives, whether rightly or wrongly, that they will not receive justice, such a situation can indeed bode ill for the community in which he lives and can lead to acrimony and anarchy.

“We must not ignore the negative perception that is occasioned by conflicting judgments delivered at various divisions of the Court of Appeal.

“Such judicial contradictions only result in untold hardships to litigants in their quest for justice. They further cast your lordships in an unfavorable light and leave the judiciary at the mercy of inuendos, crass publications and editorials.”

This warning is coming following calls from prominent lawyers demanding that the CJN speaks on numerous contradictory judgments being delivered especially in the case of the Rivers State Governor Nyeson wike and other candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

See: Rivers Tribunal got it wrong with Wike, INEC reveals

With the calls made by the CJN, it is expected that the supreme court would hid to his warning and set the issues straight considering inconsistent judgment being delivered by divisions of the court of appeal and Tribunals in the country.

Justice Mohammed also commended president of the court of appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa for her positive contributions to the development of the nation’s justice delivery system.

“I must similarly commend your lordships for being instrumental in propelling the judiciary towards an improved system of administration of justice in Nigeria.

“With one justice of appeal to 1.8 million Nigerians, I dare say that your efforts at dispensing justice, despite frightening caseload, can best be described as extraordinary.”