Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen, on Monday said there could be no viable democracy in the country without a symbiotic relationship between the press and the judiciary.
Onnoghen who spoke at a workshop for members of the National Association of Judiciary Correspondents (NAJUC), organised by the National Judicial Institute (NJI) said the press actually has a critical role to play if the nation’s democracy must survive.
According to him, the judiciary is the foundation of the rule of law in any society.
“If that foundation is threatened in any way, including threat to its independence, there cannot be a viable democracy,” he added.
He stated that for Nigeria’s evolving democracy to be fully entrenched and enduring, the press must partner with the judiciary.
He said: “The press must be in the forefront of educating the public on the workings of our courts and justice delivery system.”
Justice Onnoghen said the judiciary was open to enquiries and urged journalists to always cross-check their facts for accurate and balanced reporting.
He said: “While effectively acting as a check on the excesses of the humanity, the judiciary and the press must find common grounds and develop a closer partnership for upholding justice and truth, twin virtues that underpin any successful civilization.”