By Ononye VC
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed has on Monday June 28, 2021, cautioned the new Justices of the Court of Appeal against accepting juicy but destructive gifts that May land them in trouble in the discharge of their judicial functions.
The CJN said that their reputation matters much and count enormously in their rise to honour and fame in life.
Justice Muhammad who spoke, on Monday, while inaugurating the 18 appellate court justices at the Supreme Court informed them that several high profile cases would come their way and in the company of some juicy, and irresistible temptations and appealed to them to avoid the temptations in their own interest.
He said, “Let me point out unambiguously that in life, gifts and wealth that are not worked for which are by extension undeserving are always wrapped in calamity and destruction.
“Flee from them and keep your heads high above the murky waters of corruption so that you can be conveniently counted among the very best in the Nigeria judiciary.
“You must, against all odds, conduct your affairs within the ambit of the law and the oath that has just been administered on you”.
“If you are hitherto 50 percent under public scrutiny, I can assure you now that it has risen to 100 percent by virtue of this your elevation to the Court of Appeal.
“The temple and rate of public assessment of your conduct and disposition will now assume astronomical rise. You must redouble your efforts and dialogue properly with your conscience in order not to fall out of the grace of God and the Nigerian people,” the CJN cautioned.
He also reminded the new justices that it takes nothing to join the crowd but it takes a lot to stand alone with good conscience.
Justice Mohammed charged them to fasten their belt and roll up their sleeves to face the challenges head-on adding that, “you must redouble your pace to catch up with the expectation of the litigants.”
While congratulating them for their elevation, the CJN further reminded them that, as judicial officers, they have a divine mandate on earth that must be discharged with honesty and sincerity to justify their elevation to the Court of Appeal.
The ceremony was attended by Governors of Plateau, Yobe and Ondo states as well as former Bayelsa state governor and Seriake Dickson, former Supreme Court and Court of Appeal justice.