Consequences of disobeying lawful court orders will be too grave to bear – CJN Tanko Muhammad

President Muhammadu Buhari and Justice Tanko Muhammad, the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria

Justice Tanko Muhammad, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, has warned against disobedience of court orders.

Muhammad made the warning on Friday during the launching of the 9th House of Representatives Legislative Agenda in Abuja.

“I will like to assure you that as you embark on this important voyage of national rebirth and reinvigoration through effective, people-oriented legislation, the judiciary is solidly behind you. Since our role is strictly limited to the interpretation of the laws of the land, we will not leave any stone unturned in that respect. You can rest assured that you already have a good and dependable ally in the Nigerian judiciary,” the CJN who was represented by Justice John Tsoho, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, said.

“We will on our part, as usual, vigorously pursue the observance of the rule of law by all citizens. There is no sacred cow anywhere, as no one is above the law, no matter his or her position in the society.

“Justice must be served without fear or favour. Every law of the land must be obeyed. Let me assure everyone present here that the consequences of disobeying lawful court orders will be too grave to bear. We all should gird our loins to do our constitutionally assigned duties with due diligence so that Nigeria can be the pride of everyone.”

He further cautioned the lawmakers against abusing their powers, saying that the nation needs the National Assembly to be stable.

The CJN also urged the lawmakers to amend the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, such that not all cases needs to get to the Supreme Court. He noted that the amount of cases pending at the apex court is mind-boggling.

“Many of us don’t sleep for 12 hours as recommended by stress managers.

“We don’t write judgment merely by stating that so-and-so cases were filed by this and that and end it up by saying appeal is hereby dismissed or upheld.

“We have to give reasons and that is the bedrock of judgment writing. The Nigerian judiciary is one of the best in the world and if nobody has told you, I am telling you today.

“The constitution enjoins the Supreme Court to have 21 justices, yet we are having less than that number. We have to appoint more justices to fill the gap soon.”

“If you see the amount allocated to the judiciary, it is far less than what is given to some ministries.”

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