Nigeria: CJN Warns New Judges Against Acquisition of Wealth

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Abuja — The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, yesterday warned 22 newly sworn-in Judges of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to shun corruption since their appointment as Judges was not for them to make personal wealth.

According to Justice Muhammad, “The Bench is neither for the prosaic, the greedy nor those with questionable character who can easily fall for a plate of porridge offered by desperate litigants,” hence, the new judges should endeavour to rise above temptations and trials that might obstruct or even halt their rise to the pinnacle of their career.

The CJN gave the warning shortly after he administered the oath of office on the Judges at the complex of the Supreme Court in Abuja.

He said: “Appointment to the Bench is not an appointment to wealth; vain glory, dishonest disposition or ostentatious lifestyle through corrupt acquaintances.

“The searchlight of the National Judicial Council (NJC) beams on all judicial officers across the country. Our radar is sophisticated enough to detect every form of corruption and wrong doings. The remoteness of your location of adjudication can never blur our sight on you.

“We have very powerful lens to capture and document your conduct; so be careful and take heed, or else you may end up regretting ever being appointed a judicial officer.”

Muhammad said the letters and words of the oath they have taken must reside in a prime place of their heart and be applied generously in their adjudications, even as he urged them to be impartial, fair to all as well as apply justice and equity in all their undertakings.

He said what the country needed now are judicial officers who are calculating, honesty, objective, dispassionate and humble.

“By virtue of the oath you have just taken, you have automatically assumed new status and responsibility in life. A new blank page in the book of life has just been opened for you. The pen is right there in your hand to write whatever you desire to be the content of the new page,” he stated.

The swearing-in of the 22 judges was sequel to the approval of their appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari this month.

They were initially part of the 33 candidates recommended to Buhari for appointment in April 2020. However, following controversies over the list of nominees as well as protest by some groups, the president in July last year forwarded only 11 names to the Senate for confirmation, and they were sworn in by Justice Muhammad September last year.

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