The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad has urged judges nominated to serve in election tribunals to remain loyal to the judicial oath to which the subscribed upon their inauguration.
Muhammad, who reminded the judges that their choice as members of the tribunals impose on them the duty to rise above all temptations and do justice in accordance with the law.
He noted that the task of adjudicating election petitions would task the content of the conscience of members of the various election tribunals.
The Acting CJN spoke in Abuja on Thursday while swearing 17 of the 250 judges nominated to serve in the election tribunals that will determine the various petition arising from this year’s general elections.
Muhammad had, on January 26 this year, swore in the others.
Speaking on Thursday, the Acting CJN said: “You have just taken an oath that has not only imposed a course of upright morale undertaking on you but equally looped you with destiny.
“Your participation in these tribunals at this crucial phase of the Nigerian judiciary is not by accident but a clear design of the Almighty Allah.
“This is an enormous national assignment that will literally put the contents of your conscience to test.
“As judicial officers, you may have, one way or the other, trodden this somewhat dreaded terrain, but you must, against all odds, rise above the murky waters of failure and infamy.’
“The onus is on you to keep aloft the banner of honesty and integrity that the judiciary has painstakingly hoisted over the years.
“Your appointment to serve in these tribunals is well conceived, thus, you should do everything within your ability to justify this confidence.
“There is no doubt that you will be exposed to different forms of temptations and even blackmails but you should know that all are aimed at testing your strength of character, honesty and integrity.
“My candid advice is that, in whatever circumstance, you should always be mindful of this oath you have just taken because it now stands as an uncompromising witness between you and your creator.
“It behoves you to willingly submit yourselves to the sanctity of the rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution in the discharge of your judicial functions.
“It is the general belief that elections held when the rule of law is too fragile, seldom lead to lasting democratic governance.
“You are enjoined to always strike a balance between justice and rule of law as you embark on this critical national assignment.
“As you all know, the rule of law delayed, is lasting peace denied because justice is a handmaiden of true peace. We need this in Nigeria more than ever before.
“The trumpet must first sound from the temple of justice; hence we put you forward as champions of this noble cause.
“By virtue of this oath, you are now armed with the power to adjucate on electoral disputes and take decisions in accordance with your conviction Which must be deeply rooted in law and not sentiments or public opinion.
“l pray the Almighty Allah will grant you the courage and wisdom to carry out this responsibility without faltering or failing,” Muhammad said.
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