The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, yesterday implored judges across the federation to shun all forms of bias and do justice in all cases before them, saying it was the only way to restore confidence in the judiciary.
The CJN, who spoke at the opening ceremony of the Biennial Conference of the National Association of Women Judges in Nigeria, NAWJN, stressed that the judiciary, being the last hope of the common man, judges must strive to interpret the law at all times without affection and ill-will.
“The Judiciary is saddled with the responsibility of upholding the Rule of Law by interpreting, construing and applying the relevant laws.
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“As women judges in the 21st Century, I encourage you to interpret the law at all times without bias, affection and ill-will.
“The Judiciary is indeed the last hope of the common man and we as Judicial Officers must strive to preserve the confidence reposed in us by society,” the CJN said.
He said the objective of the conference was to reinforce the capacity of women judges in the judiciary “who are vital stakeholders in the fight against numerous injustices in the polity”.
According to him, “it is safe to say that certain vices in society have a greater impact on women and the girl-child and this forum allows for discourse along these lines.
“I must mention that violent crimes against the female gender include sexual slavery and human trafficking, rape and female genital mutilation which still persists despite efforts to eradicate same. “
“As such, the forum avails us the opportunity to discuss salient issues arising from policy formation and recent legislations that have the potential of having impact on women in the society.”
“As we are all aware, trafficking in persons has become a cankerworm, which has eaten deep into the different spheres of our society. It is an issue which largely affects women and as such, the on-going fight against human trafficking therefore remains a task that all stakeholders must close ranks to tackle, as it is the desire of most Nigerians that this hydra-headed monster be curbed.
“Towards this end; and in light of the foregoing, your conference has been designed to acquaint delegates with emerging developments on combating human trafficking as well as other key issues.
“It is my conviction that this forum will serve as an avenue to enlighten distinguished delegates on global best practices in confronting challenges arising from this special area of the law,” the CJN stated. “