The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Ibrahim Muhammad, on Monday administered oath on 11 newly appointed judges for the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The swearing-in, which took place at the headquarters of the Supreme Court, was done despite protest by a group in the South-east geopolitical zone, against the exclusion of the zone.
The group, the Registered Trustees of Social Justice and Civil Rights Awareness Initiative, had dragged the federal government before a Federal High Court in Abuja, over the appointment of judges for the High Court of the FCT.
The group, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/ CS/ 830/2020, had prayed the court to compel President Muhammadu Buhari to include at least one person from the South-east into the list of newly appointed judges of the FCT High Court.
Besides the president, other defendants include the National Judicial Council (NJC), the Judicial Service Committee of the Federal Capital Territory, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the Senate and the Federal Character Commission (FCC).
The counsel to the defendants, Alozie Nmerengwa, further sought the discontinuation of the process of appointing new judges to the FCT High Court until the defendants comply strictly with the Federal Character principles as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.
Meanwhile, the CJN urged the new judges to be on top of their games, warning that the Judiciary, under his watch, would not condone any form of indolence among judges.
Muhammad noted that as ministers in the temple of justice, judges should always be guided by the laws of the land and remain faithful to their oath of office.
He advised them to detach themselves from judges that have the penchant for sitting whenever it suits their desire.
“Know it today that your subsequent elevation to the appellate courts will be roundly dependent on, not just the number of judgments you give within a certain time frame, but also the quality and impact of such judgments on our jurisprudence.
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