By Ebere Agozie
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad has warned newly sworn in Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court Justice Salisu Garba that he will not condone any act of recklessness from him.
Muhammad gave the warning at the swearing-in ceremony of Justice Garba as the substantive Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja on Monday.
“The exercise that has just taken place should, in no way, be taken for granted or simply tagged as one of those usual ceremonies merely required to fulfill set procedures and obligations.
“With me sitting before you, I will confidently tell you that this is an oath like no other.
“I am saying this because as the Chief Justice of Nigeria, I will not condone any act of recklessness, abuse of power and public trust; and above all, the misuse of God-endowed opportunities,”.
He said the CJ should count himself fortunate to be so entrusted with the humongous responsibility of presiding over the affairs of the FCT Judiciary.
“I should remind Your Lordship that trust is a burden and you must discharge it with utmost sincerity, honesty and transparency, as conscience is an open wound which only truth can heal.
“You must resolutely rise and operate above every sentiment that might play out in the course of your tenure.
“I have a personal and official knowledge of my lord for a very long time as a studious and visionary judicial officer and I am absolutely confident that nothing contrary shall steer us in the face by virtue of this new status”.
He urged the CJ to conduct his affairs within the ambit of the law and the oath that was just administered on him.
“Anything short of that will place you on a collision course with history; and God will ask you the questions that you might not be confident enough to answer.
“This is not an occasion for long speeches or homily, because as a senior judicial officer, this is certainly not the first time you are taking an oath. So, you must have heard different admonitions on how to be upright and always live above reproach”.
He, therefore, urged the chief Judge to bring his inherent qualities to bear on his new position and never see it as an opportunity to suppress, oppress, repress or settle scores with known or imaginary enemies.
“You must not embark on any voyage of vendetta because your new position is not only a test of your ingenuity and administrative prowess but equally, a window to peep and clearly gauge your level of tolerance and human relations.
“There is no doubt that temptations, tribulations, intimidations and even sheer blackmails may be freely unleashed on you but as a thoroughbred judicial officer that I have known you to be, you must guide your loins to rise above such fleeting but temper-torching moments and do what will earn you accolades in the court of public opinions.
“There is no mountain too high to scale; and there is no goal too difficult to achieve as far as you have the firm resolve to attain higher heights in life and write your name in the sands of time”.
“All eyes are on you and always remember that your conduct will be publicly dissected and thoroughly scrutinized.
“Do what is right in our law books and you will have your name etched in gold, do what is at variance with your conscience and you will get a scar that will terminally dent your ascension to higher height in life.
“Be guided by good conscience and enjoy the best that the almighty God and the Nigerian Judiciary can offer you”.
The CJN said: the entire letters and words of the oath taken must reside in a prime place of your heart and be applied conscientiously in your daily management of both human and material resources of the Federal Capital Territory Judiciary.
“This is a bond that you must engrave in the template of your heart while adjudicating in all matters that come before you; and also while responding to issues concerning your fellow judges and staff.
“Impartiality, fairness, justice and equity must form the fulcrum of your administration so that your Creator will be happy with you and history will reserve an enviable place for you even when you are gone and forgotten.
“For the umpteenth time, I congratulate you for rising to the very top at the Federal Capital Territory Judiciary and also wish you every good thing that you can write in this new page that has just been opened in your life,” he added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on April 28, the Senate on Wednesday confirmed Justice Garba as substantive chief judge of the federal capital territory (FCT) high court.
Garba has been in an acting capacity as FCT CJ after the retirement of Ishaq Bello in January 2021.
President Muhammadu Buhari had asked the senate to confirm in a letter sent to the Senate.
NAN reports that Justice Garba hails from Malumfashi local government area of Katsina state.
He was called to the bar in 1984, and he completed his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme in 1985.
Garba was appointed as a magistrate of the FCT high court in 1989.
In 1997, he became the chief registrar of the FCT high court, and was appointed a judge of the FCT high court in 1998.(NAN)