JUSTICE Ibrahim Muhammad, a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, says justice for all is a critical element for national peace and security.
He made this known to newsmen shortly after declaring open the 19th Annual Judges’ Conference at Kongo Campus of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the conference is: “Application of Islamic Financial Legislation in the Nigerian Judicial System: Challenges and Prospects”.
NAN also reports that the two-day conference was organised by the Centre for Islamic Legal Studies (CILS), ABU, in collaboration with National Judicial Council (NJC), Abuja.
Muhammad said: “The best path to ensure peace, stability and security of the nation is for judges to ensure justice for all irrespective of status or any other thing.
“As judges we must do everything possible to do justice between people, we must do what we are employed to do, if not we have broken our oath taken that we will be just in delivering judgment especially in Islamic Sharia law.”
On judges that take advantage of their position to harm one party in a case, the Supreme Court Judge advised those who felt cheated to report to the higher authorities for necessary action.
“We have several authorities in the judiciary whom if such a case is reported to, will definitely give orders for investigation.
“Any judge found guilty of such offence will be dealt with accordingly, if the gravity of his offence is big enough to be sacked, the judiciary will not hesitate to sack or demote him depending on the level of the offence.
“Therefore, it is not an excuse for somebody to keep mute while he is cheated in a court of law; if you feel you are cheated and you keep quite, you have cheated yourself,” he said.
Earlier in the conference, the Supreme Court Judge stressed the need for more collaborative input between CILS and NJI to enhance justice dispensation in Sharia and Area Courts, and the Nigerian Judiciary at large.
He said the theme of the conference was not only topical but also timely and suitable in view of the fact that it would allow discussion of nature and constraints of judicial proceedings involving matters relating to Islamic banking and finance.
The ABU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, described the occasion as the best place that provides solutions to issues affecting the judicial system especially in Islamic Sharia.
Garba, who was represented by the Director, Institute of Administration, ABU, Prof. Ibrahim Aliyu, expressed satisfaction that the Islamic Financial System was gradually gaining ground in Nigeria.
He said the establishment and growth of JAIZ Bank had clearly demonstrated the success of Islamic Financial System, noting that the conventional banks, such as Stanbic IBTC and Sterling bank, were also operating a unit of interest-free banking system.
The Director, CILS, Prof. Muhammad Usman, lamented that there was no statutory framework for Islamic non-interest based financial transaction in Nigeria except for the guidelines drawn by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) For Non-Interest Financial Institutions.
“Another gap in the area is that of jurisdiction of courts to sit over conflicts relating to Islamic financial issues. Are the Sharia Courts empowered to do so? Are the Sharia Court Judges sufficiently educated to adjudicate over such matters?
“Are the Conventional Courts such as the High Court or the Federal High Court empowered to sit over such cases? If the answer is in the affirmative, are there competent judges to satisfactorily serve justice in the light of the objectives of Sharia?” Usman asked.
– Dec. 12, 2018 @ 17:20 GMT |