The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, has said inefficient financial allocation is affecting the Judiciary negatively.
He noted that budgetary challenges experienced in the country affects the Judiciary more than other arms of government.
Mohammed, however, urged court administrators to evolve ways of ensuring efficient operation of courts despite the budgetary challenges.
“The budgetary challenges permeating the nation, no doubt affects the Judiciary more than any other arm of government, and remains a perennial challenge to judicial independence and the effective performance of our constitutional roles.
“Nonetheless, despite the difficulties, you must ensure that your policies are holistic, calculated to improve the credibility and effectiveness of your respective jurisdictions specifically and the system of justice administration as a whole,” he said.
The CJN spoke in Abuja while addressing participants at “the 2016 refresher course for Chief Registrars, Deputy Chief Registrars, Directors and Secretaries of Judicial Service Commissions/Committee.”
The training organised by the National Judicial Institute (NJI), has, as its theme: “Ensuring efficiency and transparency in judicial administration.”
He urged them to shun unethical practices, including corrupt acts and abuse of office, capable of impacting negatively the image of the Judiciary.
The CJN advised participants to always be guided by their codes of service and work to ensure the effectiveness of the justice administration system.
“As the ‘heart’ of the courts system, the chief registrar and/or secretary must be honest, a person of exceptional integrity and decorum and an expert in financial, administrative and social matters.
“Your actions are like a beacon of light that other staff can aspire to follow and depend upon for guidance. Thus, a chief registrar/ secretary who is susceptible to bribery in any form, or who is prone to nepotism, favouritsm, tribalism and other negative ‘isms’ is unworthy of his office, and has no place in the Judiciary,” he said.
The CJN urged the senior judicial staff to be strict on discipline and ensure that the bad ones among court workers are identified and promptly dealt with.
He, however, stressed the need for senior officials to lead by example, noting that the attitude found among the junior staff, largely reflects the attitude of the leadership.
“As such, you must act in accordance with due process and be disciplined in your work, avoiding the tendency to micro-manage as a policy-maker, while ensuring clear authority for implementation as managers.
“You can only stand on a moral high ground and act effectively, where your ethics and integrity are not in doubt, as our collective objective is to maintain the sanctity and solemnity of our temples of Justice.
“All court administrators must collectively strive to remove any clog in the wheel of justice by creatively imbibing strategies that will systemically improve our processes, thus enhancing transparency and accountability.
“Specifically, chief registrars must appreciate that as the chief executives of your courts, the buck stops with you in the drive to eliminate inefficiency and any corrupt practices within your jurisdictions,” the CJN said.
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