Judges Performance Evaluation is a mechanism by which the judiciary seeks to strike balance between independence and accountability.
The National Judicial Council organized 2-day Annual National Conference on Judges’ Performance Evaluation. The theme of the conference is “Enhancing Judicial Performance”. The opening ceremony was held today Monday 3rd December 2018 at the main auditorium of the National Judicial Institute Abuja.
The President of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice B. A. Adejumo, OFR who is a member of the Performance Evaluation Committee led the session with an opening prayer while Chairman of the committee, Hon. Justice E. O. Ayoola, CON; delivered the welcome address.
In his remark, His lordship, Hon. Justice Ayoola enunciated the historical background of the committee which was established by the NJC pursuant to its powers as provided in item 21, part 1 of the third schedule to the 1999 constitution (as amended). The mandate includes evaluating, assessing, monitoring and supervising the performance and general conduct of judicial officers in the discharge of their judicial functions and the administration of justice.
The chairman expressed that the committee does not and will not tolerate repeated acts of non-performance flowing from indolence, nonchalant attitude or impunity as may be inferred from the returns submitted by a few.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, GCON while delivering keynote speech and official opening of the annual national conference stated that the conference is not about “finger-pointing” or “buck passing”, but rather to deliberate on key issues pertaining the assessment and judicial evaluation processes of the Nigerian Judiciary with the aim of exploring channels for enhancing the performance of all judicial officers.
His Lordship also advised Judges to deepen the application of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, Rules of Court and various practice directions in order to expeditiously dispose cases and reduce delays in the dispensation of justice.
“In doing so, you must maintain a balance, not sacrificing the quality of your decisions on the altar of speed. While we desire to clear our dockets quickly, we must not allow ourselves to be lured into riding roughshod over the fundamental rights of the average Nigerian whether common or not-so-common.” His Lordship Stated.
The events witnessed the presence of heavyweight Law Lords (Lordships) across the federation. The Secretary of the National Judicial Council, Mr. Ahmed Gambo Saleh, Esq. gave a vote of thanks.