The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, has advised judicial officers to strictly abide by their oath of office, the provisions of the country’s constitution and laws for improved justice delivery.
“The applications of these guiding rules can help guarantee the rule of law in the country,’’ he said.
Mr. Onnoghen made the remarks after swearing in Justice Abdu Kafarati as the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court on Saturday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr. Kafarati was sworn in to replace Justice Ibrahim Auta, who retired from the service on Sept.16 on attaining the compulsory retirement age of 65.
The CJN said the duties of the judges required them to stay above board, adding that the oath of office had compelled them to do justice to all.
“But it is also important to remind you that in performing that role, you must be bold and fearless not minding whose ox is gored,” he said.
“The public still holds its perception about the judiciary, but ensure that your decisions and actions would assist in deepening the country’s unity.
“I want to also urge all the judges to support the acting chief judge to succeed in his new office.”
On the out gone Chief Judge, Mr. Onnoghen expressed delight on his contribution to the country’s jurisprudence.
The CJN said Mr. Auta would forever be remembered for his impeccability, incorruptibility and sound judgments that had helped in strengthening law practice.
“No judicial officer is immune or spared from criticisms. You had your fair share and you have left us today. We thank you for weathering those storms,’’ he said.
NAN reports that Mr. Kafarati, born in 1954 in Kwami, Gombe State got called into the Nigerian Bar between Oct.1975 and June 1978.
NAN further reports that before this latest appointment, Mr. Kafarati was a judge at the Abuja Division of the court.
Mr. Kafarati’s position can only become substantive if nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari and confirmed by the National Assembly.