The former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, has said that the country should be grateful to the judiciary for standing its ground in the face of challenges that threatened Nigeria’s democracy.
Mohammed also revealed that Supreme Court judges are the most over-worked in the world.
According to him, “Permit me to re-iterate my comments made during the opening of the 2016-2017 Legal Year when I opined that our Supreme Court is arguably the most overworked in the World.
“In the 2014-2015 Legal Year, the Supreme Court heard 1578 matters, consisting of 1000 motions and 569 substantive appeals, delivering 262 judgments.
“In 2015-2016 Legal Year, the court heard 1489 matters, consisting of 908 motions and 581 substantive appeals, delivering 268 judgments in that period.”
He said “The log-jams are the result of a free-for-all appeals process, which has been given the imprimatur of our constitution. It was obvious that urgent action was required."
Revealing measures he took to reduce the stress on the Supreme Court, the outgoing CJN said “This additional Panel was a first in the history of the court and has certainly had a significant impact on the case disposal rate of the court.
“I will not take full credit for this success, as My Brother Justices rose to the challenge, but I recognise that this was a necessary response to the yearnings of all Nigerians for justice.”
Justice Mohammed retired on Wednesday, November 9, 2016, after attaining the mandatory retirement age of 70 years.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn in Walter Onnoghen as the new Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).