Chief Justice of Nigeria Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad has warned judges against “unmerited wealth and ostentatious lifestyle” to avoid finding themselves in conflict with the law.
Muhammad said that by their calling, judicial officers ”must shun vainglory borne out of corrupt acquaintances”.
He gave the advice while swearing in seven new High Court judges – six for the Federal High Court and one for the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) – in Abuja.
Emmanuel Garko, Bala Usman, Aminu Garba, Musa Liman, Ahmad Mahmud and Segun-Bello Taiye were inaugurated as FHC judges while Joseph Adebayo Aina was sworn in as a judge of the High Court of the FCT.
The CJN, who admitted that judges were human beings, admonished them to be wary of questionable characters that could make them run against the law.
His words:”As I always say, appointment to the bench is not an appointment to affluence, influence or unholy alliance with people of questionable character that may appear before you in different guises and make you do what is offensive to the law.
“You must shun unmerited wealth, dishonest disposition and never should you engage in any activity that may make you regret ever being a judicial officer.
“We are all humans, no doubt, but you must display the humanism in you by doing those extraordinary things that people would say you cannot do.
“That is what distinguishes those with integrity and passion for success from those with unenviable pedigree and dysfunctional moral compass”.
The CJN noted that Nigeria of today required “honest, objective, dispassionate and humble judicial officers.”.
Reminding the new judges that their appointment was not by accident, he urged them to always be led by wisdom and be guided by their conscience.
Muhammad also informed them that the National Judicial Council (NJC) would not shirk in its determination to rid the bench of bad eggs.
He said that bad and corrupt judges could only run, but would eventually be caught by the long arm of the disciplinary apparatus of the NJC.
The CJN urged the new judges to be ready for a deluge of cases during the 2023 general election.