From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko, yesterday performed his first official assignment where he called on Judges to stand up and protect the integrity of the judiciary which, he lamented, was passing through trying times.
Justice Tanko made the call at the inauguration of 250 Judges for the 2019 National Assembly, Governorship & State Assembly Election Petition Tribunals.
Tanko was sworn-in on Friday by President Muhammadu Buhari following the controversial suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen.
Meanwhile, Onnoghen and 13 other Justices of the Supreme Court were absent at the ceremony that took place at the main courtroom of the Supreme Court.
Also absent at the event were Senior Lawyers and members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
After administering the oath of office on members of the election tribunals, the acting CJN who was accompanied by Justice Sidi Baje admonished them to discharge their duties diligently and with the fear of God.
His words: “As your lordships take the oath of office as Chairmen and members of the election petition tribunals, let me remind you that this oath is a solemn appeal to Almighty God. Therefore, it is to God Almighty that you will be ultimately responsible. It is from this oath that your duties and responsibilities as chairmen and members of the election petition tribunals in your various places of assignment spring forth and has a binding effect. This is an ethical undertaking to justice as well as uphold the rule of law in our courts. As such, I implore you to discharge your onerous duty diligently and with the fear of God Almighty.
“The judiciary is in trying time, you must stand to protect and uphold the integrity of this arm of government. I therefore congratulate you on this appointment and I urge you to see this assignment as a call to greater service to your nation,” Justice Tanko concluded.