The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, Friday, in Abuja called on judges to dispense justice without fear or favour.
Speaking at the swearing in of the new Chief Judge of the Abuja High Court, Justice Ibrahim Mallam Bukar, the CJN said that the judiciary was going through some challenges.
She urged the new chief judge to leave no stone unturned in the bid to re-position Abuja High Court.
“It is crucial not only that judges do justice but also that the public think that they do, otherwise the confidence or assurance of presenting cases for adjudication would be eroded,” Mukhtar.
“Justice must be rooted in confidence and that confidence is destroyed when right thinking members of the society doubt the neutrality of the judge.
“To achieve a positive self-image, the judiciary must naturally be above board and ensure that it plays a pivotal role in promoting the rule of the law in our country’s democratic system.”
The CJN said that Bukar’s appointment came at a time when the nation’s judiciary particularly the Abuja High Court was facing various challenges.
She said: “As I felicitate with you, let me also remind you that your appointment is coming at a time when the Nigerian judiciary particularly the High Court of the FCT is on the heels of various challenges. I am of the firm belief that these challenges are not insurmountable.
“I therefore charge you to make all efforts and leave no stone unturned to re-position the court and ensure that the confidence of the public is restored in the system.
“The rare quality of leadership by example must constantly be your watch ward and you must strive to ensure that you carry out your functions without any dint of taint on your name.”
According to her, the judiciary plays a fundamental role in national development by efficaciously resolving disputes and upholding civil rights and the rule of law.
“It creates a stable environment that is indispensable to economic development and social cohesion,” she added.
The CJN told Bukar that it was imperative on him to discharge his responsibilities with all honesty, due diligence and integrity.
“You must continue to act in accordance with the dictates of the oath of office which you have just taken as well as your good conscience. I am confident that you will not fail the nation at this crucial moment of our nascent democracy and our effort to build a nation on the principles of the rule of law, justice and fair play.”
The swearing-in was witnessed by justices of the Supreme Court, judges of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory and the FCT Customary Court of Appeal.