The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, Thursday charged members of election petition tribunals to be upright in the discharge of their responsibilities.
The 85 judges are to serve on the election petition tribunal panels set up for the upcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states as well -as other by-elections across the country.
Recall that the Edo State governorship election was slated to hold on September 19, while that of Ondo State will hold on October 10.
Speaking at the inauguration and administer of oath ceremony, the CJN reminded the Judges that their inauguration was not one of those ceremonies merely required to fulfill set procedures.
He described the ceremony as a solemn pledge between the judges and their creator.
He said, as judicial officers, it is not the first time they are taking an oath and charged them to be upright and always live above reproach.
“You are expected to conduct your affairs within the ambit of the law and the oath that has just been administered on you, as anything short of that will place you on the wrong side of history and God will ask you the questions that you may not be confident enough to answer.”
“I can confidently tell you that this is a weighty undertaking you have just signed before the Almighty God. I am saying this because as the Chief Justice of Nigeria, I will not condone any act recklessness, abuse of power and public trust.”
The CJN thereafter told the Judges to count themselves worthy to be so entrusted with the humongous responsibility of deciding the fate of those who would be contesting the highest political offices in Edo and Ondo states respectively and some other political offices in other states by virtue of the forthcoming elections.
Trust, he stressed further is a burden and must be discharged with utmost sincerity, honesty and transparency, because conscience is an open wound healed only by truth.
“You must rise and uproot every sentiment that might play out in the course of your adjudication in the tribunal.
“There is no doubt that temptations, tribulations, intimidations and even sheer blackmails may be unleashed on you but as thoroughbred judicial officers, you must guide your loins to rise above all 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 firmly resolved to attain higher heights in life,” he added.
He reminded the judges that all eyes are on them, saying they should remember that their conducts will be publicly dissected and thoroughly scrutinised.
“Do what is right in our law books and you will have your names 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.”