The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Muhammad has again warned Nigerian judges to resist gifts, juicy and irresistible temptations that come in the course of duty.
Justice Muhammad gave the warning on Monday while administering oath of office and allegiance on 18 judges that were recently elevated to the bench of the Court of Appeal . A Federal High Court in Abuja last week’s Friday struck out a law suit that would have impeded their oath taking and their assumption office
“We are not here for long speeches but simply to realign your minds with what is expected of you at this very high and enviable level of adjudication,” he said at the ceremony, he stated.
“Many high profile cases would definitely come to you on appeal; and they may likely come in company of some juicy, irresistible temptations, but I am making it clear to you now that you must flee from such disguised danger. ”
“Your reputation and integrity matter much and count enormously in your rise to honour and fame in life. Let me point out unambiguously that in life, gifts and wealth that are not worked for, which are by extension, undeserving, are always wrapped in calamity and destruction.”
“Flee from them and keep your heads high above the murky waters of corruption so that you can be conveniently counted among the very best in the Nigerian judiciary,” he enjoined them.
The Chief justice of Nigeria also added that they “must, against all odds, conduct your affairs within the ambit of the law and the oath that has just been administered on you.”
” If you were hitherto 50 percent under public scrutiny, I can assure you now that it has risen to 100 percent, by virtue of this elevation to the Court of Appeal,” he warned.
He said the tempo and rate of public assessment of the new justices conduct and disposition will now assume astronomical rise.
Therefore, they must redouble their individual effort and dialogue properly with their conscience in order not to fall out of the grace of the almighty God and the Nigerian people.
” It takes nothing to join the crowd but it takes a lot to stand alone with good conscience. “
He said that the number of Justices that we have just sworn-in today is quite unprecedented in the recent history of the Court of Appeal.
“The last time we swore-in a large number of 12 Justices was on Monday 5th November, 2012. Today’s ceremony is an indication of the times that we are currently in.”
He said that several novel crimes are being committed in the country that have now made litigations to go on a steady rise. No court in the land is spared of this.
We are constantly on our toes and the dockets are ever rising in response to the challenges of the time. This underscores the undisputed fact that Nigeria ranks among the most litigious countries in the world, he said.
Justice Muhammad said that the onus is on the justices to fasten their belt and “roll up your sleeves to face the challenges head-on. You must redouble your pace to catch up with the expectations of the litigants.”
He said that as judicial officers, the judges have a divine mandate on earth that they must discharge with unveiled honesty and sincerity. You must give good account of yourselves to justify your elevation to the Court of Appeal.
Earlier Justice Muhammad had reminded the justices that the oath was “meant to pledge your allegiance to the dictates of the Almighty God, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and your conscience.”
It is a solemn pledge and commitment to good conduct in the course of your adjudication, especially as senior judicial officers in the appellate court, he said.
Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, justices of Court of Appeal, gifts, juicy temptations,