By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, yesterday, said the Supreme Court of Nigeria was ever ready for any eventuality and that it was also well prepared to keep the country together as one indivisible entity through effective and efficient justice delivery.
The CJN reiterated the Apex court’s readiness while addressing the members of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption [PACAC], led by their Chairman, Professor Itse Sagay, SAN, who paid a courtesy visit to the Supreme Court on yesterday.
In a statement signed by the Director, Press and Information, Akande Festus, Justice Tanko informed that Supreme Court, being the highest and final court in the land, was always very critical and conscious of every case that comes before it on appeal.
He maintained that on this ground, the Justices always put in concerted effort by doing a critical review of all facts and evidence before them to arrive at a decision in order to give justice to all parties in a free, fair and generally acceptable manner without any iota of equivocation.
He said, ‘’We are all seasoned judicial officers that were appointed to the Supreme Court based on merit, experience and qualification. We are bound by the oath we have subscribed to and thus discharge our responsibilities without deference to anybody and we will continue to do so.
“We are never above board as human beings, so we are open to constructive criticisms. It may interest you to know that before we deliver any ruling or judgment, no matter how small it is, even if it is only five sentences, we have to hold conference with all the Justices on the panel and could even expand it in some critical situations to involve all the justices of the court. The sole aim of this practice is to ensure that justice is given in every case before us, no matter how infinitesimal it might be because we are the final court in the land.
“Our judgments are always all-encompassing and must, at all times, reflect the feelings and views of every Justice on the panel. Dissenting judgments are always encouraged because we cannot all see things from the same perspective.”
He assured the visitors that the Supreme Court, as usual, would continue to dispense justice in a free and fair manner that every citizen would be happy to say at the end of the day that wadone, except of course, for those people who would only accept that justice was done when it favours them and not when the right thing was done.
He urged the PACAC members to help impress on the executive the need to be releasing all funds meant for the Judiciary at the appropriate time to avoid halting its operations.
He further appealed to them to always offer advice whenever the need arises and not to also hesitate to forward petitions against any erring Judge to the National Judicial Council for immediate action, stressing that his administration is poised to maintain a zero tolerance for corruption within the Judiciary.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of Presidential Advisory Council Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, SAN informed the host that the committee was in the court on a congratulatory visit to the Chief Justice of Nigeria for the well deserved appointment as the Chief Judicial Officer of the Federation and wished him well in his new office.