The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Kayode Ariwoola, charges judges to rise above the murky waters of failure and infamy for effective justice delivery.
Ariwoola gave the charge at the swearing-in of the newly appointed 39 members of the election petition tribunal on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that there is no doubt that they will be exposed to different forms of temptation and even blackmail, but they should know that all are aimed at testing their strength of character, honesty, and integrity.
“As judicial officers, you may have, one way or another, 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”.
According to him, ‘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 behooves 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 the rule of law as you embark on this critical national assignment.
“As you all know, rule of law delayed is lasting peace denied because justice is the handmaiden of true peace. We need this in Nigeria more than ever before.
He, therefore, reminded them that the trumpet must first sound from the temple of justice; hence, they were put forward as champions of the noble cause.
“By virtue of this oath, you are now armed with the power to adjudicate on electoral disputes and take decisions in accordance with your convictions, which must be deeply rooted in law and not sentiments or public opinion.
“You have just taken an oath that has not only imposed a course of upright moral 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 God.
“This is an enormous national assignment that will literally put the contents of your conscience to test, as no amount of homily can convey the enormity of this task.
“But suffice it to say that you are already initiating an interaction with history, and whatever action or inaction you exhibit today will serve as your testament in the annals of the Nigerian judiciary.
He prayed that the Almighty God wouldwould grant them the courage and wisdom to carry out the responsibility without faltering or failing.
“Once again, II congratulate you and look forward to hearing good commentary on your conduct and sterling performance at the end of your assignment”.