The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mukhtar, on Monday charged the 25 new justices of the Court of Appeal to ensure zero tolerance to judicial corruption.
Mukhtar gave the charge in Abuja while delivering an address at the swearing-in ceremony of the judges at the Supreme Court.
“There shall be zero tolerance to judicial corruption and misconduct in the Nigerian judiciary and I urge you to maintain true allegiance to your oath and abide by the code of conduct for judicial officers.
“Your judgments and rulings will be tried by public opinion, and you will face criticism from the media, I urge you to persevere and remain firm in fulfilling your duties.
“I wish to further stress that the judiciary will not tolerate acts of misconduct and disloyalty from judges, ‘’ Mukhtar said.
The CJN stressed that there would be no middle ground or room on the bench for judges found to be contemptible arbiters of truth, especially in election and other cases.
“Therefore, as judges, you will soon be presiding over election cases and so you must be politically neutral and rise up to safeguard our democracy,’’ she said.
Mukhtar said public confidence in the judiciary would be built and sustained when judges contributed their best to efficiently administer justice.
She said the task was “demanding and inexorable.’’
The CJN observed that the right to implement legal authority in any matter was predicated upon public opinion and ethics.
“Public confidence in the judicial system rests on public trust and perception and the sustained propriety of the judiciary, which helps to encourage citizens’ readiness to comply with the law,’’ she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Goodluck Jonathan on March 17 approved the appointment of 25 new justices for the Court of Appeal.
The justices are Hamma Barka (Gombe State); Joseph Jella (Taraba); Bitrus Sanga (Bauchi State); Muhammed Mustapha (Borno); Yargata Nimpar (Gombe State); Sa’idu Hussein (Kogi) and Mudashiru Oniyangi (Kwara).
Others are Amina Wambai (Niger); Rilwan Abdullahi (Nasarawa State); Tani Hassan (Kano State); Muhammed Shuaibu (Jigawa); Kadi Alkali (Kaduna State); Jamilu Tukur (Katsina State); Paul Elechi (Ebonyi) and Ugochukwu Ogakwu (Enugu State).
Also among the justices are Nonyerem Okoronkwo (Imo); Joseph Ekanem (Akwa Ibom); F.E. Oho (Delta); Abimbola Adejumo (Edo) and Bolokuromo Ugo (Bayelsa)
Others are Biobele Georgewill (Rivers); Oludotun Adefope-Okojie (Ogun); Misitura Bolaji-Yusuf (Oyo); J.O.K. Oyewole (Osun) and O.E. Williams-Dawudu (Lagos).