PIC. 37. THE NEW CHIEF JUSTICE OF NIGERIA, JUSTICE MAMOUD MOHAMMED TAKING OATH OF OFFICE IN ABUJA ON THURSDAY (20/11/14). 5837/20/11/2014/ISE/BJO/AIN/NAN

The Chief Justice of Nigeria [CJN], Justice Mahmud Mo­hammed has admonished judg­es to honest in the discharge of their duties bearing in mind that they are under public scrutiny.

He gave the admonition yesterday as the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corpora­tion [NDIC] sought the cooperation of the judiciary in achieving its mandate and objectives in a more efficient and effective manner.

The CJN who spoke at the sensitisation seminar for Judges of States and Federal Capital City [FCT] High Courts organized by the NDIC said the only way of restor­ing the lost glory of the judiciary as the last hope of the common man was for judicial officers to discharge their duties in trans­parent and honest manner.

More so, Justice Mohammed who ac­knowledged the role of the media in the reportage of all judicial activities said their presence is a constant reminder that Judg­es must be transparent and honest because they are under public scrutiny.

Justice Mohammed had while x-raying the mandate of the NDIC, especially as it pertains to the resolution of banking dis­tresses, liquidation of failed banks, noted that some of the arcane legal issues bor­dering on the competing rights of credi­tors, shareholders and depositors of such failed institutions come before the courts.

He therefore expressed the need for a proper understanding of the concept and operation of bridge banks, as well as ex­ecution of assets of failed banks, which would give Judges a better and informed appreciation of the legal issues arising therefrom, or connecting thereto.

“Invariably, the court decisions on these issues will set the precedent on bank in­solvency laws and practice in Nigeria. I commend the NDIC leadership for recog­nizing and appreciating the importance of this apparent reality and for collaborating with the National Judicial Institute [NJI] to actualize this laudable objective.”

The CJN noted that a sound bank­ing system is the hallmark of a vibrant and strong economy because custom­ers, depositors and investors will have confidence that their money is safe and will for no reason ever dissipate or dis­appear.

Earlier in her speech, the Adminis­trator of the National Judicial Institute [NJI], Justice Rosaline Bozimo said the seminar would provide sustainable solution to the challenges and obstacles militating against the NDIC in effec­tively discharging its functions.

In his keynote address, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the NDIC, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim said the Nigerian Judiciary and other stake­holders have important role to play in ensuring that the mandate of the Cor­poration is realized.

The MD who was represented by the Executive Director Operations of the NDIC, Prince Aghatise Erediauwa enumerated the challenges confronting the Corporation to include execution of court judgments against the assets of the Corporation as the liquidator of failed banks, lack of proper understand­ing of the legal status of the NDIC by legal practitioners, the court and the public at large as Liquidator being dis­tinct from its role as Deposit Insurer, the menace of liquidation-related litiga­tions to poor public awareness on the vision, mandate and the functions of the NDIC.

He said no matter how robust the le­gal framework operated by the NDIC is, the Corporation cannot achieve much without the cooperation and vital input from the Nigerian Judiciary, bear­ing in mind the fact that the Judiciary is constitutionally vested with the powers of interpretation of statutes.

Papers presented at the seminar by various speakers included “Key Fea­tures of the Nigerian Financial system; the Role of the Judiciary in promot­ing financial system stability; the role of the NDIC as Deposit insurer and bank liquidator and the application of Garnishee proceedings as a tool for en­forcement of liabilities of closed banks.

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