The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoolaa on Thursday swore-in 39 additional members of the election petition tribunals for the 2023 general elections.
INFORMATION NIGERIA gathered that the CJN administered the oath of office to the 39 judges on Thursday, giving them a deadline to meet the obstacles faced by the backlog of petitions.
Justice Ariwoola, while speaking at the swearing-in ceremony held at the main court room of the Supreme Court in Abuja, tasked the Judges to submit willingly to the sanctity of the rule of law and supremacy of the constitution in the discharge of their judicial functions.
The CJN admonished the appointees to live above board and to submit to the sanctity of the rule of law in the discharge of their judicial functions, stressing that the country needs peace “at this crucial phase”.
The CJN said, “You have just taken an oath that has not only imposed a course of upright moral undertaking on you but equally looped you with destiny.
“This is an enormous national assignment that will literally put the contents of your conscience to the test.
“No amount of homily can convey the enormity of this task. But suffice it to say that you are already initiating an interaction with history. Whatever action or inaction you exhibit today will serve as your testament In the annals of the Nigerian judiciary.
“As judicial Officers, you may have, one way or the other, trodden this somewhat dreaded terrain, but you must, against all odds, rise above the murky waters of failure and infamy.
“The onus is on you to keep aloft the banner of honesty and integrity that the judiciary has painstakingly hoisted over the years. Your appointment to serve in these tribunals is well conceived, thus, you should do everything within your ability to justify this confidence.
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“My candid advice is that, in whatever circumstance, you should always be mindful of this oath you have just taken because it now stands as an uncompromising witness between you and your creator.
“It behoves you to willingly submit yourselves to the sanctity of the rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution in the discharge of your judicial functions. It is the general belief that elections held when the rule of law is too fragile, seldom lead to lasting democratic governance.
“You are enjoined to always strike a balance between justice and the rule of law as you embark on this critical national assignment.
As you all know, the rule of law delayed is lasting peace denied because justice is a handmaiden of true peace.
“We need this in Nigeria more than ever before. The trumpet must first sound from the temple of justice; hence we put you forward as champions of this noble cause.”
He added that by virtue of the oath they have taken, the judges are now armed with the power to adjudicate on electoral disputes and take decisions in accordance with their convictions, which according to him must be deeply rooted in law and not sentiments or public opinion.
Ariwoola prayed for the Almighty God to grant the appointees the courage and wisdom to carry out their responsibility without faltering or failing.