Chief Justice of Nigeria , Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed

By Uthman Siraja

Newly appointed High court Judges of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have been charged to see their oath as a covenant between them, their God and the Nigerian people.

Addressing the newly appointed High Court judges of the FCT at the Supreme Court complex, Monday, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed said that as purveyor of Justice and minister in the inner recess of good conscience, “you must not look at faces, colours, creed or race before arriving at judgements.” He stressed the need for them to be dispassionate and transparent in all their dealings as judicial officers stating that Justice is blind, non-discriminatory and fair to everyone.

The CJN added that the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and “all other extant laws should be your vehicle to the destination of equity and fairness; all your conducts must have a bearing on the laws of our land.You must not at anytime allow the dictates of detractors sway your decisions. Everybody looks up to you to deliver Justice in its natural form without any extraneous considerations. It is easier to destroy than to build, so you must not allow the mindset of others to lead you to self-destruction” he admonished the Judges.

He noted that with their experience as lawyers, that are very conversant with every aspect of the common law which was being practiced in this clime, “Your appointment to the high court bench is a call to service. Never allow your personal ambition, to which might not be in tandem with what is required of you, to override your sense of judgement. The Nigerian Judiciary is more than ever prepared to weed out the bad eggs in our midst. The onus rests squarely on you to always hoist the banner of honesty and integrity.” he added.

 Justice Tanko told the newly appointed Judges that their ascension to their new status should not be a weapon or license to intimidate or witch-hunt any existing or imaginary enemies; if at all there are any.”You must indulge in those conducts that will always make you walk tall among your peers. It is an uncommon privilege to be called upon to serve in the capacity that you will now be operating immediately after this ceremony. Like we always say, many are called, but few are chosen. Your success was not as a result of extraordinary brilliance or industry but sheer providence because there are several others out there who can equally accomplish tremendous success if given the opportunity. You must prove your mettle and leave an imprint in the sands of time.”

 The CJN warned that the Judiciary under his watch will not, in any way condone indolence and would never be a party to any form of laxity. Adding that the courts sit at 9: 00am, Monday to Friday “as we all know, you must detach yourselves from those Judges that have the penchant for sitting whenever it suits their desire. Know it today that your subsequent elevation to appellate courts will be roundly dependent on, not just the number of judgements you give within a  certain time frame, but also the quality and impact of such judgements on our jurisprudence.”

 He implored them to always strive for excellence in all their acts and they should endevour to eschew any act that will portray corruption or compromise, noting that their position as high court judges was seen as the hallmark of integrity and moral rectitude.

Eleven of the High court judges appointed are: Justice Hamza Mu’azu, Justice Fashola Akeem Adebowole, Justice Maryam Hassan Aliyu and Justice Mohammed Sani Idris. Others are Justice Christopher Opeyemi Oba. Justice Josephine Obawu Emobie,

 Justice Jude Ogor Onwuegbueze, Justice Messier Frances Erhuvwu, Justice Babashani Abubakar, Justice Abubakar Hussain Musa and Justice Edward Okpe.