The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mariam Aloma-Mukhtar has said that judges who did not deliver a minimum of four judgments in a year would be sacked.
The CJN who revealed this last Friday while receiving Performace Evaluation report on judges in her office said that it was incredulous to observe that some judges could not even deliver up to two judgments in a quarter.
“We are now thinking of looking at the performance evaluation of the judges for the purpose of discipline. If a judge cannot deliver three to four judgments in a year, there is no use keeping him on the bench other than to be shown his or her way out.”
“The NIALS’ performance evaluation could not have come at a better time because it will go a long way to compliment the ones carried out by NJC performance evaluation committee,” she added.
As part of her anti-corruption crusade in the judiciary, she has also banned indiscriminate travels by judges, noting that apart from the outcome of petitions filed against them, the National Judicial Council would henceforth use its performance evaluation reports to weed out incompetent and indolent judges.
According to the CJN, “the Nigerian Bar Association has also been complaining about the attitudes of judges to work these days. Many will leave their work and travel for days abroad. This is why I insisted they must obtain approval before travelling abroad. Until this directive, I never thought things were all that bad, because some of the judges will be seeking for permission to travel abroad, while the courts were in session, despite the six weeks holiday they are entitled to in a year”
Meanwhile more than 10 judges have reportedly tendered notice of voluntarily retirement in the last one week as the judiciary leadership deepened the cleansing of the system, all claiming ill health as reasons. Analysts has however noted that this trend might not be unconnected with the ongoing anti-corruption crusade embarked upon by Justice Aloma-Mukhtar.
The “Nigeria’s Judicial Performance Evaluation 2008 – 2011” was compiled in seven volumes by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) as presented on Friday by the project director who doubles as the head of NIALS, Professor Epiphany Azinge.
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