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“You must shun Unmerited Wealth, Be Ready for Troubles, Verbal Attacks from Litigants – CJN Tells New Judges

“You must shun Unmerited Wealth, Be Ready for Troubles, Verbal Attacks from Litigants – CJN Tells New Judges

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The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoolajustice

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola has asked the new Judges of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory to be prepared for troubles, uncomplimentary remarks and verbal attacks from litigants.

Justice Ariwoola said although he congratulates the 12 new Judges, he still sympathizes with them because of discomfort they would encourage in the discharge of their judicial duties.

The CJN, who spoke on Wednesday while inaugurating the high court judges, said that although Judges were not magicians, the litigants would expect them to perform magic for reasons best known to them.

He challenged the Judges to be prepared to absorb all uncomplimentary remarks and do their jobs in line with the dictates of the law and the oath of office administered to them.

The CJN said, “The newly appointed 12 Judges of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory have just taken the oath of office.

“This is an exercise required of all Judicial Officers to align their conscience with the reality of the new status they are assuming.

“It indicates the fact that things can never remain the same in Your Lordships’ lives again because your lifestyle has automatically changed and your acquaintances too have to be instantaneously reviewed and reordered to align with the current reality of your new status.

“Though judicial officers are not known to possess some supernatural powers or magic wands to perform wonders, I can assure you that the society we operate will certainly demand the impossible from you as Judges.

“There is nothing we have not seen or heard before, but Your Lordships should be ready to see and hear more strange things in the course of your adjudication.

“Even though I rejoice with Your Lordships on this very important appointment, I still sympathize with you for the many troubles, discomfort, verbal assaults and uncomplimentary remarks that will be made about you by various litigants in the course of your adjudication, especially if your conscience is not directly regulating your conduct.

“We are all humans, no doubt, but you display the humanism in you by doing those extraordinary things that people would ordinarily say you cannot do.

“That is what distinguishes those with integrity and passion for success from those with unenviable pedigree and dysfunctional moral compass.”

“Like I always say, appointment to the Bench is not an appointment to affluence, vainglory, influence or unholy acquaintance with people of unenviable character that may appear before you in different guises and make you do what is offensive to the law.

“You must shun unmerited wealth, dishonest disposition and ostentatious lifestyle borne out of corrupt acquaintances.

“The National Judicial Council will never rest on its oars in fishing out the bad eggs within the judiciary and consigning them to odium.

“You can only run but certainly won’t have the capacity to hide from the long arm of our disciplinary apparatus.

“Your Lordships should never engage in any act that may make you regret ever being a judicial officer.

“I pray it does not happen anyway, because the consequence will be direr and more pungent than you may ever have imagined.

“The entire letters and words of the oath Your Lordships have just taken must be engraved on the template of your hearts and be rightly applied in all your adjudications.

“This is a bond that you should collectively etch in your hearts and allow to serve as a virile moral compass while adjudicating in all matters that come before you.

“Your Lordships must not derail from the revered path of impartiality, fairness, justice and equity.

“We don’t need any fortune teller to tell us that the times we are in are quite perilous and ominous, too.

“So, we seriously need judicial officers with the right character content that are equally calculative, honest, objective, dispassionate, and immensely humble, to take us to the highest pedestal of image and reputation rating.

“Your appointments to the bench at this crucial and challenging time of our national history are not by accident but by the divine will of the Almighty God.

“You should be led by wisdom and guided by your conscience on this solemn voyage of self-actualization.

“I congratulate Your Lordships for being counted first among your equals. I wish you the best of luck and sincerely hope that you will emerge as shining examples among your contemporaries that we shall all be proud of.

“The new page that has just been opened in your lives must contain opulent contents that will speak favourably about you in the future,” he added.

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