By Tunde Johnson
Justice Walter Onnoghen, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) has described corrupt judges as a disgrace and a canker worm to the entire judiciary in the country.
Onnoghen disclosed this at the opening of the 2018 Refreshers Course for Judges Kadis, organised by the National Judicial Institute.
He said that a corrupt judge is not only a disgrace to the Bench and the noble profession; it is also a disaster to the course of justice and the nation.
The CJN said the National Judicial Council, NJC, has constituted Corruption and Financial Crimes Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO) which has hit the ground running adding that it will serve as a check on the excesses of some bad eggs in the judiciary.
He said: “My Lords, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, you will all agree with me that a corrupt judge is not only a disgrace to the. Bench and the noble profession, it is also a disaster to the course of justice and the nation.’’
Onnoghen said the definition of corruption is not limited to bribe-taking but also includes the giving of judgment or orders based on any consideration other than legal merit.
‘’It is gratifying to note that the National Judicial Council is already tackling the canker worm head-on,’’ he said.
He also said the setting up of special courts to handle corruption cases is a right step in the right direction, saying that it will help in the expeditious hearing of corruption cases.
according to him, “The designation of special courts to handle corruption cases is also a step in the right direction as lingering corruption cases will be expeditiously dispensed with. It will no longer be business as usual.
“I must state categorically however, lest I am accused of the fallacy of hasty generalisation, that the judiciary in Nigeria is not corrupt or inefficiency. It is an established fact that the Judiciary in Nigeria is as good as the best anywhere in the world. Only few judges are found wanting.”
He added that judges must act in the rule of democracy, which insists on ‘’the rule of law.’’