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CJN: With current challenges, Nigeria needs honest judicial officers

BY Samad Uthman

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Olukayode Ariwoola, the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), says the country is in dire need of passionate judges who will promote the rule of law and the integrity of the judiciary.

Ariwoola said this on Friday at the swearing-in of Stanley Lawal, the newly-appointed acting president of the customary court of appeal of the federal capital territory (FCT).

In his remarks, the CJN advised the acting court of appeal president to always represent the judiciary well in his new office. 

”Nigeria is currently plagued with a myriad of problems that require sincere and honest interventions of judicial officers. We hear of corruption of various forms, killings, kidnappings, armed robbery, banditry, and all forms of terrorism against the state and individual citizens,” Ariwoola said.

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“Most often, these cases find their way to the court for the right and proper adjudication.

“At the two lower rungs of the judicial ladder, you are there to represent our interest and crystalise the image of the Nigerian judiciary by doing justice to all matters that come before your lordship.”

He also advised the new acting president to dissociate his office from unmerited gifts that could interfere with his sense of judgment.

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”A lure with unmerited material possessions will not only weaken your reputation, but equally impair your sense of judgment. In everything you do in the course of adjudicating, you must consult your God, the constitution and your conscience,” he said.

“Always have at the back of your mind, as I believe you had always, that at every point of your life, someone somewhere is right behind you and taking note of all your conducts.

“We often hear of all manners of underhand dealings by some judicial officers, especially at the lowest rung of the ladder.

“I will like your lordship to remember that destiny has placed this enormous responsibility on your shoulders to lead your brother judges and the entire staff of the customary court of appeal of the FCT.

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“At the crossroads we have found ourselves in Nigeria today, we are earnestly and passionately looking for a crop of judicial officers who will be role-models that can confidently hoist the banner of honesty, integrity and uprightness.

“The current state of affairs in the country needs nothing short of that. You must endeavour to prove your adjudicatory and administrative ingenuity to earn a lasting reputation in the annals of the Nigerian judiciary.

“This is a mandatory exercise that requires to align the conscience of our judicial officers with good conduct, fear of God and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to which we have all solemnly sworn to uphold under any condition.”

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