According to Punch News, On Thursday, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, swore in 39 extra judges to staff the electoral petition tribunals currently operating around the republic.
The CJN stated that the judges were deemed qualified to be appointed as additional members of tribunals that have been burdened with an “avalanche of petitions” in the wake of the 2023 general election at the event that took place at the Supreme Court.
The newly appointed election petition tribunal judges were given the oath to uphold the sanctity of the rule of law and to live honorably while doing their judicial duties by the CJN.
He emphasized that peace was necessary for the nation “at this crucial phase” and warned them not to let emotion or popular opinion cloud their judgment.
You just swore an oath that binds you to fate as well as making you obligated to choose a morally righteous path, he said.
“This enormous national assignment will literally test the contents of your conscience,”
It is impossible to accurately convey the scope of this project in a homily. Just mentioning that you are already studying history ought to be sufficient.
Whatever behavior you display now will stand as your testament in the legal history of Nigeria.
“As judicial officers, you may have traveled this somewhat feared terrain in one way or another, but you must defy all obstacles to overcome failure and notoriety.
“It is up to you to maintain the flag of truthfulness and integrity that the court has laboriously raised over the years. You should do every effort to demonstrate that choosing to serve on these tribunals was a sensible choice.
You will undoubtedly face a variety of temptations, including blackmail, but you should be conscious that they are all designed to test your moral strength, sincerity, and integrity.
You should always be cognizant of the oath you just took since it now serves as an unwavering witness between you and your creator, my frank counsel, regardless of the situation.
“It is required of you that, in carrying out your judicial duties, you freely bow to the sovereignty of the Constitution and the sanctity of the rule of law. The general agreement is that long-lasting democratic government rarely results from elections held in environments where the rule of law is too brittle.
“You are enjoined to always strike a balance between justice and the rule of law as you begin this crucial national assignment.”
“As you all know, justice is the handmaiden of true peace. Delaying the rule of law is denying enduring peace.
Nigeria today, more than ever, needs this. We suggest you lead this noble cause since “the trumpet must first sound from the temple of justice.”
By taking this oath, you have gained the authority to decide on electoral disputes and make decisions that must be firmly based on the law and not on personal feelings or popular opinion.
I ask the All-Mighty God to provide you with the courage and wisdom needed to do this task without stumbling or failing.
Keep in mind that the CJN had earlier sworn in 307 judges to examine petitions pertaining to the general election of 2023.
The 39 judges have brought the total number of members of the tribunal who are now hearing petitions related to the conduct of the 2023 general elections to 346.