According to PUNCH, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, swore in 39 additional judges on Thursday to handle cases arising from the country’s general elections on February 15 and March 18.
The 39 judges join the 307 judicial officials who were already assigned to the duty, increasing the total to 346.
During the ceremony at the Supreme Court, the CJN emphasised the importance of the task and advised them not to succumb to temptations or blackmail.
The CJN stated that the judges were considered worthy of appointment as additional members of tribunals burdened with an “avalanche of petitions” in the run-up to the 2023 general elections.
When administering the oath to the newly appointed election petition tribunal judges, the CJN emphasised that the country needs peace “at this crucial phase,” and he warned them not to let sentiment and public opinion cloud their judgement.
Ariwoola said, “You’ve just signed an oath that has not only forced a cause of moral uprightness on you but has also linked you with fate.
“This is a massive national assignment that will literally put your conscience to the test.
“It is up to you to preserve the flag of honesty and integrity that the judiciary has diligently hoisted over the years. Your appointment to serve on these tribunals is well thought out; thus, you should do everything in your power to justify this trust.
“There is no doubt that you will be subjected to various forms of temptation and even blackmail, but you should be aware that they are all designed to test your character, honesty, and integrity.
“My candid advice is that you should always be mindful of the oath you have just taken, because it now stands as an uncompromising witness between you and your creator in any circumstance.”
As expected, this development elicited reactions on Facebook as it was shared by PUNCH on their official handle.
A Facebook user identified as Murtala Laraba Idris said, “The message is clear and well understood.”
Malachi Ulimurun Ngbe said, “Hope you are practising what you said. Because we know about you, sir.”
Screenshots of people’s reactions:
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