Justice Dahiru Musdapher on Friday bowed out as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) having attained the retirement age of 70 years.
At a valedictory service held in his honor, Justice Musdapher advocated the creation of an Independent body other than the National Judicial Council, for the discipline and removal of Judges.
Justice Musdapher noted that investigation of allegation of impropriety against judicial officers is too cumbersome for the NJC which is saddled with other responsibilities.
He said the system which has been adopted by most Commonwealth countries, is in a better position to deal with issues of discipline and removal as opposed to an institution that is largely managed by those it is supposed to regulate.
Present at the occasion were governors of Kogi, Bauchi, Ekiti and Jigawa also present were retired justices of the Supreme court and the Appellate court ,members of the Nigerian Bar Association, the body of senior Advocates, federal lawmakers, traditional rulers, the mother of the retiring chief justice and other well wishers.
Soon after Justice Musdapher filed into the court to perform his last duty as the head of the nations judiciary, he swore-in two newly appointed justices of the supreme court, Justice Musa Dantijo Muhammed and Justice Clara Ogunbiyi.
Justice Musdapher outlined some of his achievements as the chief justice, one of which is the 47 amendments sought as part of the reform of the judiciary, he urged the National Assembly to be pro-active in passing the laws.
The outgoing chief justice also gave a score card of the Supreme Court at the end of the 2012 legal year.
He also made a case for another body to be responsible for judicial discipline and removal as the role has become too cumbersome for the National Judicial Commission.
His Lordship then bowed out of the court as the Chief Justice of Nigeria, having served thirty-three of his forty-four years career on the bench.
Delays in handling corruption cases
The outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria explained the reasons why his directive to all courts in the country to dispose of all corruption cases within the last six months were not achieved.
According to him, the major reason is the cumbersome nature of the various charge sheets which contains so many counts charges making it difficult to prosecute.
Justice Musdapher blames the anti-graft agencies who arrest and charge suspected offenders before concluding investigations making them largely unprepared for trial.
He also blames defence lawyers whom he says have perfected strategies for stalling the trial processes via the filing of pointless interlocutory appeals.
This he said has necessitated the need for a speedy amendment of the relevant sections of the constitutions to block all loop holes for unjustified invocation of the right of appeal.