The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, Monday in Abuja called on chief registrars, secretaries of Judicial Service Commissions and directors in the nation's judiciary to eschew corruption and lead by example as a means of ridding the justice sector of corrupt practices.
Speaking in Abuja at a workshop organised by the National Judicial Institute (NJI) for Chief Registrars, Secretaries of Judicial Service Commissions, Directors of Area/Sharia/Customary Courts and Inspectors, the CJN warned that they should not allow public confidence to be eroded in the judiciary.
She cautioned: "Once public confidence on which the judiciary relies to enforce its judgment is eroded, then that society is no doubt set for extinction. Remember that the judiciary as an arm of government does not have a garrison of soldiers or police to compel compliance with its orders."
She said the judiciary relied and survived only on public confidence.
"This public confidence will be eroded by your actions and in-actions," she warned.
According to her, the centrality of the judiciary to the continued existence of any society can hardly be over-stressed and once the public loses its confidence in this organ of government charged with adjudication and justice delivery, then that society is no doubt set for extinction.
The CJN advised that rather than preach ethics and integrity the heads of courts should show leadership by example and let the staff learn good ethical conduct and integrity from their actions.
Mukhtar, who was represented by Justice Olufunmilola Adekeye, said staff of the judiciary played strategic roles and would remain relevant.
She said: "You are a reflection of the behaviour and attitude of your staff. You are the mirror through which the public views the judiciary as a whole. If you are corrupt and lazy, your staff will ably emulate you.
"On the other hand, if you are upright and hardworking, the staff of the judiciary will have no other choice than to follow your footsteps.
"Whatever you do, remember that your staff see and are ready to copy you; they cannot challenge you. Bear in mind that the unseen God sees you and we shall all one day stand before His throne for judgment."
Mukhtar charged the heads of Court to be above board and advised them to be fair to both their staff and patrons of courts.
She said: "Let your conduct be seen to be ethical and impeccable. Therefore, rather than preach ethics and integrity, I urge you all to act according to ethics and integrity. Lead your staff by example and let them learn good ethical conduct and integrity from you. By so doing, the image of the judiciary will receive high rating in the opinion of the public that we serve."