A Justice of the Court of Appeal, Benin Division, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, has cautioned Judges and Magistrates to guide against indecisiveness in delivering judgements which may be informed by corruption and cowardice.
Justice Oniyangi gave the warning on Saturday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital while delivering a paper title: “The Law and Art of Judgement Writing at the one day end of year interactive session organized by the Kwara state branch of the Magistrates Association of Nigeria (MAN).
The jurist urged all judicial officers to allow their decisions to be free from all corrupt indices and should be upright and just in their judgement explaining that the era of lengthy judgements are gone.
Justice Oniyangi also enjoined judges and magistrates to endeavor to write their judgements when the fact of the matter is still fresh in their memory and avoid delay as it might make them loose track of the fact of the case and demeanor of witnesses.
He added that a corrupt judge or magistrate who has taken bribe in the course of adjudication is like a raging lion, fierce, unstoppable , blind to reason, insensitive to emotion or conscience until he had decided the case before him in line with the dictate if the side paying the piper and calling the tune.
According to him, what justice demands is equality of treatment to all manner of persons in accordance with law in all cases, no matter their economic status while there should be no different justices for the rich and the poor.
Justice Oniyangi disclosed that the time of analogue is over and stressed that judgement would be safe and free from any form of leakages pending delivery, adding that the benefit of being computer illiterate can not be overemphasized and also enjoined judicial officers to endeavor to record evidence correctly.
“To my mind, the taking of evidence is mainly to do justice as between the parties to a cause. Endeavour to record evidence correctly. It is my advise that at the time if recording evidence, don’t forget to note the impressionable acts or omissions of witnesses and their demeanor because it would assist in no small measure in discharging the sacred and task full duty of judgement writing”.
The jurist cautioned against delay in the dispensation of Justice as such actions had received a sledge hammer punishment of compulsory retirement of some judicial officers and urged them to deliver their judgments and rulings in the open courts.
In his message to the occasion, the Presiding Justice ,Court of Appeal , Sokoto Division, Justice Hussein Mukhtar appealed to judges and magistrates to strive to achieve excellence in their onerous task of adjudication with transparent honesty, competence , inspiration and commitment to the selfless service of the people without fear or favour.
He suggested that information technology device be encouraged and expanded to cover all the federal and state courts both superior and inferior .
Justice Mukhtar urged judges and magistrates to limit their pronouncement and consequential orders to reliefs asked by the victorious parties.