CJN swears in 22 judges as Appeal Court justices

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has sworn in 22 new justices to the Court of Appeal, including Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, who recently ordered the release of former CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele.

Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony held at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the CJN charged the new Justices to be upright in the delivery of justice to Nigerians without fear or favour.

He told the newly appointed Justices to always deliver right judgments that will not be tainted by sentiments, emotions, or other clandestine considerations.

Justice Ariwoola said, the Judiciary has been treated to an unpalatable cocktail of misleading and conflicting judgments as well as frivolous interlocutory orders emanating from courts of coordinate jurisdictions, which have literally attempted to make a mockery of the judicial system and flagrantly desecrate the revered temple of justice.

“Several cases of such abound across the length and breadth of the country. This is, largely, an embarrassment to our jurisprudence, and we will never handle it with levity. Punitive measures must definitely be meted out to such erring Judges,” the CJN stated.

According to the CJN, several unfathomable crimes are being committed in the country, aside from the usual political matters that have made litigations go on the alarming rise, adding also that, no court in the land is spared of the litigation deluge, as it were and charged them to be on their toes in the discharge of their duties.

He stated that, Nigeria is fast emerging as a frontline crime-infested country that needs to be curtailed urgently and added that, the enormous task of cleaning the Augean stable rests squarely on the Justices, “So, you must hastily fasten your belt and roll up your sleeves to face the challenges head-on.

“In other words, you should hit the ground speeding at a supersonic velocity and not just running, you must redouble your pace to catch up with the expectations of the sprawling community of litigants”.

As judicial officers, he said the Justices have a divine mandate on earth to discharge their judicial functions with unveiled honesty and sincerity, give good accounts of themselves, and justify their elevation to the Court of Appeal.

The CJN said, the Edo and Ondo state governorship elections will be held in the next couple of months and that, the courts will be besieged with plethora of petitions and added that, “It is our statutory duty to hear all matters that come before us and adjudicate according to the laws of the land.

“We must not falter and we must not tread the path of infamy. Yes, it is true that we cannot please everyone through our actions and work, but with the right application of the law and the Constitution of the land, which we all have collectively pledged to uphold, we can go a long way to do those things that our conscience will be very proud of and the generality of the Nigerian citizens will equally be happy about”.

He charged them not to rest on their oars, as the onus now lies more heavily on them to discharge their judicial duties more dispassionately, discretionally, and transparently.

In another development, the CJN, on Wednesday, sworn in 12 newly appointed Judges of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, with a charge for them to discharge their judicial functions in accordance with the Constitution.

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