Some Politicians Threaten, Intimidate Judges On Political Matters In Court – CJN Ariwoola

Olukayode Ariwoola, Chief Justice of Nigeria, on Monday, revealed that some political stakeholders go as far as threatening judges over their cases in court in order to have favourable judgements.

The CJN expressed that the attention and emotions attached to political matters in Nigeria, makes the work of judges more excruciating, painstaking and, sometimes, endangering.

He added however that despite the operating circumstances, judicial officers must not succumb to pressure, but must always be guided by the rule of law in the discharge of their duties.

Ariwoola made the submission at the opening session of a two-day workshop organised by the Court of Appeal for the review of last year’s election petition tribunals/courts and appeals in Abuja.

He cautioned judges and other judicial officers against succumbing to public opinions, emotions, or sentiments while performing their duties.

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Justice Ariwoola noted that “political matters always tend to occupy the front burner of our adjudicatory activities as all the subsisting electoral laws have placed some time frame within which they must be heard and decided.”

“Besides, the kind of attention and emotions attached to political matters in this country has collectively made our work more excruciating, painstaking and, sometimes, endangering, as we are occasionally exposed to threats, especially from some elements within the political fold.

“But like I always say, no amount of threat or intimidation should make a thoroughbred judicial officer to deviate from the law and pander to public sentiments and emotions, which are often misplaced,” he added.

He further advised judicial officers to be guided by their conscience, noting that, “Once our conscience leads the way, every other good thing will naturally follow.”