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.