Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, has warned judges that will preside over election tribunals for the next sets of elections in Ondo, Edo and other states to avoid temptations in the course of their duties.
Justice Muhammad said he would not condone any act of recklessness among the judges as their selection was a rare opportunity to serve their fatherland.
The CJN spoke on Thursday in Abuja while swearing in 85 judges appointed for the upcoming elections in Edo, Ondo and other states.
He said: “Do what is right in our law books and you will have your names etched in gold. Do what is at variance with your conscience and you will get a scar that will terminally dent your ascension to higher height in life.
“Be guided by good conscience and enjoy the best that the Nigerian Judiciary can offer you.”
Mohammed added: “We have just administered oaths on the members of election petitions tribunals for the forthcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states as well as other by-elections across the country.
“This should not be taken as one of those ceremonies merely required to fulfil set procedures. It is a solemn pledge between you and your Creator.
“You are expected to conduct your affairs within the ambit of the law and the oath that has just been administered on you, as anything short of that will place you on the wrong side of history and God will ask you the questions that you may not be confident enough to answer.
“This is not the time for long speeches or homily, because as judicial officers, this is certainly not the first time you are taking an oath.
“So, you must have heard different admonitions on how to be upright and always live above reproach. I can confidently tell you that this is a weighty undertaking you have just signed before the Almighty God.
“I am saying this because as the CJN, trust is a burden, and you must discharge it with utmost sincerity, honesty and transparency, because conscience is an open wound healed only by truth.
“You must rise and operate above every sentiment that might play out in the course of your adjudication in the tribunals.
“There is no doubt that temptations, tribulations, intimidations and even sheer blackmails may be unleashed on you. But as thoroughbred judicial officers, you must guide your loins to rise above all and do what will earn you accolades in the court of public opinions.
“There is no mountain too high to scale; and there is no goal too difficult to achieve, as far as you have firmly resolved to attain higher heights in life.
“All eyes are on you and always remember that your conducts will be publicly dissected and thoroughly scrutinised.
“I congratulate you for being found worthy to serve your fatherland. I wish you the best that you can achieve in this strategic-national assignment,” he said.