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Supreme Court to get constitutionally prescribed 21 Justices – CJN, Ariwoola

Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), has made a significant announcement regarding the Supreme Court’s composition. For the first time in its history, the Supreme Court is set to have the full complement of 21 justices, as prescribed by the constitution.JAMB Result

move is aimed at addressing the acute shortage of justices in the Apex Court, which recently saw the number of justices drop to a record low of just 10 due to retirements.

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Justice Ariwoola disclosed this important development during the commencement of the 2023/2024 legal year of the Supreme Court and the inauguration of 58 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) at the Supreme Court Complex.

He mentioned that the efforts to fill the Supreme Court bench to its full capacity began under his predecessor but were not completed before the former CJN left office. Upon taking office on June 27, 2022, Justice Ariwoola prioritized this task, recognizing the urgent need to bolster the bench strength of the Supreme Court.

The decision to bring the Supreme Court up to its full strength is a critical step towards enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of Nigeria’s highest court. It is expected to alleviate the workload on the existing justices and improve the overall functioning of the judiciary. This historic move also represents a significant milestone in the Nigerian judicial system, ensuring that the Apex Court is better equipped to handle the numerous legal matters that come before it.NYSC PORTAL

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He said, ”Although we have not gotten them on board yet, I can convincingly tell the litigant public that in a very short while, the Supreme Court of Nigeria will, for the very first time in its history, get the Constitutionally-prescribed full complement of 21 Justices”.informationguidenigeria

“That is one of the legacies I have been working assiduously to leave behind as it now seems that the Court has been somewhat ‘jinxed’ from meeting its Constitutional requirement since that piece of legislation was enacted several years ago”.

He spoke on the fate that has befallen the judiciary, adding, “Our Courts should be trusted at home and abroad for the high level of respect for the rule of law and the institutional and personal independence of our judiciary.

The CJN canvassed that the independence of the judiciary must be given adequate statutory protection, not just at the Federal level alone but equally at the State level so that they could be seen to be truly and genuinely independent in all ramifications.

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“The rule of law and the holistic independence of the judiciary should always be cherished by all. As the Chief Justice of Nigeria, I will do everything within my ability to make it remain part of my responsibility to nourish.

“The Judiciary, as it is today, is more deserving of public trust and confidence than ever before; and we are poised to reposition it for effective justice delivery to make our beloved country a destination of note in the observance of the rule of law and tenets of Constitutionalism.

“It is a solemn pledge that we, as a judicial body, are making at this occasion that we are definitely going to work more assiduously and tirelessly to make our country earn for itself the fullest respect and confidence of both the citizens and the international community.

He advised all Judicial Officers serving in our jurisdiction to make books their armour and hard work their armaments to confront the headwinds of ignorance, conservatism and stagnation.

“Such a Judge, who does not maintain the highest standard of integrity, has no right to continue to occupy the Chair as a Judicial Officer. In the same vein, if a Judicial Officer is found to be corrupt, then, he cannot be allowed to hold such a divine Chair of a Judge.

“Like I said earlier, be bold in all your judgments by deciding cases without fear or favour, because fear and favour come in many hues and colours. For instance, fear of one’s own past, of peer pressure, of public criticism, etc.

“Like some people often misconstrue, favour does not only come in monetary terms but also through nepotism, personal bias and prejudices. We should all know that if the faith of the people is to be maintained in the Judiciary, then the river of judicial process has to be kept pure.JAMB Portal

“On that basis, we must eschew fear and favour at all cost. If the people think your judgment is biased, tainted, or partial, they will doubt the judicial process and the river of justice will stand contaminated. No doubt about that!

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

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Emediong Silver

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing. Whatapp: 08088735884

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