WorldStage Newsonline– The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mukhtar on Monday advised judges to always be politically neutral in handling electoral disputes.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of the newly appointed 25 justices of the Court of Appeal, the CJN also cautioned judges against engaging in unethical conduct and acts capable of lowering public confidence in the judiciary.
Justice Mukhtar also urged judges to always maintain true allegiance to their judicial oaths and abide by the demands of the Code of Conduct for Judicial officers.
Justice Mukhtar advised the new justices to “work with your brother justices in the performance of your new arduous judicial functions, in order to sustain the confidence of the public in the judiciary.
“Bear in mind that the right to implement legal authority in any matter is predicated upon public opinion, and ethics.
“Public confidence in the judicial system rests on public trust and perception as well as the established and sustained propriety of the Judiciary which help to encourage citizens’ readiness to comply with the law.
“Thus, societal perception of the integrity of the judicial system occupies an important role in the assistance of social order by directing the law in a manner that guarantees; the important requirements of justice. For this reason you must contribute your best to efficiently administer Justice.
“I wish to further stress that the judiciary will not tolerate, acts of misconduct and disloyalty from Judges, and so I urge you to maintain true allegiance to your judicial oaths and abide by the demands of the Code of Conduct for Judicial officers.
“I urge you to understand that there is no middle ground and no room on the bench for those found to be contemptible arbiters of truth. There shall be zero tolerance to judicial corruption and misconduct in the Nigerian Judiciary.
“As Judicial officers, you will soon be presiding over election cases, among others. Therefore, as Judges you must be politically neutral and rise up to safe guard our democracy, and ensure the rights of litigants and the tenets of justice are upheld and help to dispense justice for the purpose of safeguarding and protecting our constitution and its goals.
“It is necessary to note that our task in our society is demanding and inexorable. Your judgments and ruling will be tried by public opinion, and you will face criticism from electronic and print media, I urge you to persevere and remain firm in fulfilling your duties
The new justices include Justices Hamma Akawu Barka (Gombe State), Joseph Jude Jella (Taraba State), Bitrus G. Sanga (Bauchi State), Muhammed Mustapha (Borno State),Yargata Nimpar (Gombe State), Sa’idu Tanko Hussein (Kogi State), Mudashiru N. Oniyangi (Kwara State) and Amina Audi Wambai (Niger State).
Others are Justices Ridwan Maiwada Abdullahi (Nasarawa State), Tani Y. Hassan (Kano State), Muhammed Lawal Shuaibu (Jigawa State), Kadi Musa Hassan Alkali (Kaduna State), Jamilu Y. Tukur (Katsina State), Paul Obi Elechi (Ebonyi State), Ugochukwu A. Ogakwu (Enugu State) and Nonyerem Okoronkwo (Imo State).
There are also Justices Joseph E. Ekanem (Akwa Ibom State), F.E. Oho (Delta State), Abimbola O.O. Adejumo (Edo State)
Justices Bolokuromo M. Ugo (Bayelsa State), Biobele A. Georgewill (Rivers State),
Oludotun A. Adefope-Okojie (Ogun State), Misitura O. Bolaji-Yusuf (Oyo State), J.O.K.Oyewole (Osun State) and O.E. Williams-Dawudu (Lagos State).