No judge should bow to public opinion, emotions, says CJN Ariwoola

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The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has underscored the importance of judicial independence, urging judicial officers to resist succumbing to public opinions, emotions, or sentiments in the execution of their duties.

Speaking at a workshop organized by the Court of Appeal for the review of the 2023 election petition tribunals/court and appeals, Justice Ariwoola emphasized the need for judges to uphold the law and avoid unconstitutional actions.

Justice Ariwoola highlighted the challenges faced by judicial officers in handling political matters, noting the pressure and threats they sometimes encounter. He emphasized the significance of upholding the law and not being swayed by external influences, including media trials aimed at manipulating judicial decisions.

The CJN cautioned against the misuse of discretionary powers by judicial officers and stressed the importance of maintaining public trust and integrity. He reminded judicial officers of their duty to serve the Nigerian masses and deliver judgments based on the law, free from biases or external pressures.

Justice Ariwoola reiterated his commitment to ensuring accountability within the judiciary and emphasized that any misconduct by judicial officers would not be tolerated. He emphasized the need for a judiciary that upholds the law and serves the people, aiming to leave a legacy of a robust and respected judicial system.

The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, commended the efforts of judicial officers during the challenging 2023 election litigation season. She called for amendments to certain sections of the Constitution and the Electoral Act to enhance the judicial process and improve the electoral system.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), praised the judiciary for its role in stabilizing the nation’s electoral process and emphasized the importance of the judiciary in deepening democracy in Nigeria. He expressed hope that workshops like the one organized would enhance public understanding of the judiciary’s role in ensuring the integrity of electoral processes.

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