CJN Tells Judges To Apply Constitution, Not Public Opinion

Written by Bola Abraham

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has urged the newly sworn-in judges of the Federal High Court to apply the constitution, not public opinion, in deciding cases that may be assigned to them.

Ariwoola said this on Wednesday in Abuja while swearing in another batch of 23 judges for the Federal High Court.

He said that the judiciary was often subjected to vitriolic attacks by the public, but that such attacks could not override or supersede the constitution of the country, which was the supreme law of the land.

He said, “Several vitriolic attacks are regularly heaped on the judiciary; but it is crystal clear that public opinion, no matter how serious or weighty it might be, cannot override or supersede the constitution of the country in which judges apply in deciding each case.”

He charged the judges to uphold and consolidate the trust reposed in them by the society and to be guided by their conscience and moral rectitude.

He said, “Judicial officers owe their conscience and the generality of the Nigerian masses: particularly those who are looking up to them, the great responsibility of good moral rectitude and acceptable conduct to uphold and consolidate the trust reposed in them.

“By virtue of the oath you have just taken, you have, automatically assumed new status and responsibilities in life.

“A new blank page in the book of life has just been opened for you and as it is with public office, especially the judiciary, you are completely opened to daily public scrutiny.

“The pen is right there in your hand to write whatever you desire to be the content of the new page that is now openly displayed in the public domain.

“Like I always say, even though judicial officers are not spirits or superhuman, yet, so much impossible things are expected from them by the society.”

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