The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Aloma Mariam Muktar, yesterday, charged justices on the Supreme Court bench to be dedicated and discharge their duties without fear or favour, saying it was the only way “to sustain the confidence of the public in the judiciary.”
The CJN, who made the call while administering oath of office on two new justices of the apex court, Justices Kumai Bayang Akaahs and Stanley Shenko Alagoa, said it was imperative that Judges at all times, “exhibit the highest level of decorum, integrity, independence, intelligence, wisdom, impartiality and temperament,” in the performance of their duties.
Imploring the two new justices to disregard every consideration and always be faithful to their oath of office, the CJN warned them to always “observe the code of conduct for judicial officers, all other relevant instruments and most importantly your good conscience.”
Prior to their elevation to the apex court by President Goodluck Jonathan sequel to recommendations by the Federal Judicial Service Commission, FJSC and the National Judicial Commission, NJC, both Akaahs and Alagoa, hitherto served as Justices of the Appeal Court.
Their appointment increased the total number of Justices at the apex court to 17 following the retirement of the former CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher and Justice Francis F. Tabai.
Justice Mukhtar who performed the swearing in at the main court auditorium of the Supreme Court yesterday, noted that the two new justices, “exhibited the true qualities of a judicial officer, competent in skills and intellect and therefore worthy of elevation to the apex court.”
She said: “Myself and my brother justices are indeed happy to welcome my Lords to the Supreme Court. As your Lordships will soon come to observe, the Supreme Court is one family. Each of us possesses unique talents and experience; each also has an innate love of the law, as well as a powerful loyalty to our colleagues, the Court and service to the nation.
“I therefore urge you to work together with us in the performance of your new arduous judicial functions, in order to sustain the confidence of the public in the judiciary.
“You must understand that you have been called upon to carry out a sacred duty. A duty to serve the good people of Nigeria and to occupy a role, representing Almighty God; the ultimate judge.
“I therefore charge you to be dedicated and discharge your duties without fear or favour, affection or ill will and remain resolute and undaunted in the discharge of your duties.
“The task of service in the Supreme Court as you are well aware is indeed demanding, but I am confident that you are both equal to the task given your track record and past experiences. We have taken off on the threshold of a viable judiciary that will command public confidence and the time to give up is not anytime soon,” the CJN added.