Abuja — The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, wednesday said the ongoing reforms in the judiciary which would soon be visible will enhance justice delivery in the country.
He said once this is done, Nigerians will begin to appreciate the role of the judiciary in a democratic environment.
Onnoghen stated this at a retirement valedictory session organised for the former Secretary of the NJC, Danladi Halilu, and other retired staff of the council in Abuja.
The CJN who commended the retirees on their positive contributions to the nation's justice sector said the event was designed to honour retired staff of the NJC and give the hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
"In no distant time, Nigeria will come to appreciate the role of the NJC. The nation's judiciary will soon be better with all the ongoing reforms that have been put in place.
"The judiciary and all the agencies under it should adhere strictly to the code of conduct, as the judiciary under my watch will not condole any act of defiance," he stated.
Speaking at the occasion, the former NJC Secretary, Danladi Halilu, while commending the current leadership of the NJC on the initiative, called for the inclusion of lower courts in the federation so as to achieve meaningful success in the entire justice delivery sector.
According to him, there is need for lower courts to turn in their returns of cases to their various state Judicial Service Commissions and the Judicial Service Committee of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
"The report on the returns of cases in respect of superior courts of record at the level of NJC has been very helpful to administration of justice. "It is necessary for the various laws on administration of the pension of retired judicial officers in the federation to be harmonised and the payment of pension of the state retired judicial officers be also made by the NJC," he said.
The former NJC scribe added that such move would guarantee the security of officers, particularly those of the state judiciary whom he noted are hardly paid their gratuities or pension after retirement from office.
"It is against this background that I acknowledge and applaud President Buhari for increasing the funding of the federal judiciary in 2017 appropriation.
"This unprecedented allocation to the judiciary by the federal government, among others, made it possible for NJC to pay the reviewed and harmonised pensions of retired federal judicial officers, including the backlog of their arrears," he stressed.