CJN swears in 11 new Supreme Court justices

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The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola has sworn in 11 new Justices joining the Supreme Court bench. He admonished them not to let personal ambitions overshadow their sense of judgment.

Among the newly appointed Justices are Jummai Hannatu Sankey, Chidiebere Nwaoma Uwa, Chioma Egondu Nwosu-Iheme, Haruna Simon Tsammani, and Moore Aseimo A. Adumein. Additionally, the roster includes Justices Obande Festus Ogbuinya, Stephen Jonah Adah, Habeeb Adewale O. Abiru, Jamilu Yammama Tukur, Abubakar Sadiq Umar, and Mohammed Baba Idris.

Justice Ariwoola emphasized that the new Justices must cease any interaction with individuals of questionable character and background, if any exist. He advised them to rely on their conscience to discern and filter their thoughts.

He also cautioned the new Justices to prepare for criticism or verbal attacks from litigants who have lost cases, as Justices of the highest court of the land often face high expectations and intense scrutiny.

“There is no way you can please human beings, especially litigants. The easiest way to fail in life is by trying to please everyone. The only deity you can fear is the Almighty God”, he said and added, “Once your judgement is in consonance with what God expects from you, and is also in accordance with the Constitution, you should consider yourself the happiest and freest person on earth,” he said.

The CJN conveyed to the newly appointed Justices that their elevation to the Supreme Court Bench acknowledges their sharpness and evident dedication to hard work, qualities emblematic of judicial excellence.

Justice Ariwoola remarked that administering the oath of office to the 11 new Justices was unprecedented in the history of the Nigerian Supreme Court. He recalled his previous address, wherein he expressed concern over the Court’s inability to attain the statutory full complement of 21 Justices for an extended period. He pledged to overcome this challenge.

The CJN emphasized that the new Justices are joining the Supreme Court Bench at a critical juncture when its ranks have significantly diminished to an unprecedented low of ten Justices due to retirements and deaths. He urged them to bring their utmost dedication as seasoned judicial officers transitioning from the Court of Appeal, with considerable experience in upholding judicial oaths and roles.

“Your moral uprightness, integrity and respect for the constitution and other extant laws in operation, must be unwavering and unassailable”, he said and urged the new Justices to see themselves as the representatives of God on earth, because “any judgement given at this level can only be upturned in heaven”.