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DON'T HANDLE CASES OUTSIDE YOUR JURISDICTION, CJ WARNS JUDGES

By NBF News
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The Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Lawal Gummi, on Tuesday in Abuja warned judges against handling matters outside their jurisdiction.

He issued the directive in a paper titled, 'Enforcement of judgments at the lower courts,' which he delivered at the ongoing conference of All Nigeria Judges of the Lower Courts. At the conference organised by the National Judicial Institute, he said, 'It is a very serious matter to handle issues you do not have jurisdiction over. If you go out of the dictates of the law, you lose the protection of the law. When you are acting within your jurisdiction, you are protected by the law.'

He specifically urged the Sharia, Area and Customary Court judges to avoid the temptation of acting outside their mandates in order not to lose their immunity. He, however, urged judges not be discouraged by appeals against their judgments or any mistake arising from their decision, noting that such would make them better judicial officers.

Chairman of the session and a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Mariam Alooma Mukhtar, urged judges to always be punctual in court.

'It is an act of punishment to litigants for courts to sit late. Litigants cannot earn their daily bread when they wait endlessly in courts. Likewise, counsel have other cases to attend. Courts should sit at nine in the morning,' she stated.

Mukhar lauded the effort of the Administrator of the NJI, Justice Umaru Eri, at ensuring that judges of the lower courts received adequate training to enable them to cope with dynamic adjudication procedures in the country.