The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Tanko Muhammad , says he has zero-tolerance for corruption, and that the National Judicial Council, NJC, under him was more than ready to investigate and sanction corrupt Judges.
Tanko, therefore, urged anyone aggrieved by the conduct of any judicial officer to forward a petition to the legal body for appropriate action.
The CJN said this after he received members of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, led by their Chairman, Professor Itse Sagay, SAN, who paid a courtesy visit to the Apex Court on Wednesday.
According to a statement that was signed by the Director, Press & Information at the Supreme Court, Dr Akande Festus, the CJN, 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 a 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 see things from the same perspective”.
The statement further disclosed that the CJN assured his visitors that the Supreme Court, “would continue to dispense justice in a free and fair manner that every citizen will be happy to say at the end of the day that justice is done, except of course, for those people who will only accept that justice is done when it favours them and not when the right thing is 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 NJC, saying his administration is poised to maintain a zero-tolerance for corruption within the Judiciary.
‘’If you have any complaint against any judicial officer, you can approach the National Judicial Council immediately with your petition. I can assure you that it will be looked into quickly and the required action will be taken against such judge. We are maintaining a zero-tolerance for corruption. If you see us going the wrong way, based on your own understanding, you should quickly call our attention because we are amenable to correction, as it is only the almighty God that is infallible.’’