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Nigeria’s CJN wants new appeal court judges to sustain high integrity in new positions

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The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad has urged the newly sworn in 18 Justices of the Appeal court to ensure that their reputation and integrity matter much to them as they “rise to honour and fame in life.’

He said that the newly sworn in Appeal Court judges should flee from “juicy, irresistible temptations,” noting that gifts and wealth that are not worked for, which are by extension, undeserving, are always wrapped in calamity and destruction.

Mohammad spoke at the swearing in ceremony for the 18 judges recently elevated to the Court of Appeal.

The CJN said their reputation and integrity matter much, adding that their elevation to the Court of Appeal has increased the level of scrutiny on their conduct and disposition.

“We are not here for long speeches but simply to realign your minds with what is expected of you at this very high and enviable level of adjudication.

“Many high profile cases would definitely come to you on appeal; and they may likely come in company of some juicy, irresistible temptations, but I am making it clear to you now that you must flee from such disguised danger.

“Your reputation and integrity matter much and count enormously in your rise to honour and fame in life.

“Let me point out unambiguously that in life, gifts and wealth that are not worked for, which are by extension, undeserving, are always wrapped in calamity and destruction.

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“Flee from them and keep your heads high above the murky waters of corruption so that you can be conveniently counted among the very best in the Nigerian judiciary.

“If you were hitherto 50 percent under public scrutiny, I can assure you now that it has risen to 100 percent, by virtue of this elevation to the Court of Appeal.

“The tempo and rate of public assessment of your conduct and disposition will now assume astronomical rise”, Tanko said.

The CJN who swore in 18 justices stated that it is an indication of the current situation in the country.

“The last time we swore in a large number of 12 Justices was on Monday 5th November 2012. Today’s ceremony is an indication of the times that we are currently in.

“Several novel crimes are being committed in the country that have now made litigations to go on a steady rise. No court in the land is spared of this.

“We are constantly on our toes and the dockets are ever-rising in response to the challenges of the time. This underscores the undisputed fact that Nigeria ranks among the most litigious countries in the world.

“The onus is on you to fasten your belt and roll up your sleeves to face the challenges head-on.

“You must redouble your pace to catch up with the expectations of the litigants. As judicial officers, you have a divine mandate on earth that you must discharge with unveiled honesty and sincerity.

“You must give good account of yourselves to justify your elevation to the Court of Appeal”, the CJN added.

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