Ibrahim Muhammad, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), has charged some chief judges to end conflicting ex parte orders churned from their courts.
He described the scenario as “nonsense” during his interaction with chief judges of Tivers, Kebbi, Cross River, Anambra, Jigawa, and Imo States.
“Your job as heads of court is a sacred one, and it, therefore, includes you vicariously taking the sins of others. There must be an end to this nonsense. You shall henceforth take absolute charge in assigning cases or matters, especially political personally. We shall make example with these three Judges and never shall we condone such act,” said the CJN in a statement released by Soji Oye, director of information of the National Judicial Commission (NJC).
“Each of the CJs was separately quizzed personally by the CJN for over an hour, before later reading a riot act in a joint session with all of them,” Oye said.
Oye added that the CJN told the judges that, “damage to one jurisdiction is a damage to all. We must therefore put an end to indiscriminate granting of ex parte orders, conflicting judgements or rulings occasioned by forum-shopping.”
“Justice Muhammad also warned the CJs [against] making newly appointed judicial officers vacation judges and assigning complex cases to inexperienced judges,” the statement reads.
“He revealed that all heads of courts will be invited to a meeting to reemphasise the need for the judiciary to be circumspect on the issue of granting ex parte orders and will also meet with the NBA leadership on the issue.
“The CJN advised all heads of court to be current on the development in the polity and the judgments delivered by courts of various jurisdictions and to urgently issue practice direction to guide Judges in their various courts to avoid giving conflicting decisions.
“He concluded that the judiciary will no longer condone indiscipline or allow any Judge to tarnish the image of the judiciary.”
The CJN, according to Oye, also vowed to deal with three unnamed judges for their actions.