The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, Tuesday, charged judges and other judicial officers in the country to take decisions as heavens will not fall.
Swearing in Justice Abdu Adamu Kafarati as the substantive Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, he said that the judiciary would stand behind any judicial officer hounded for taking bold and courageous decisions that have constitutional backing.
According to him, the judiciary would remain an arbiter between the Executive and the Legislative arms of government.
He said, “Don’t run away from your responsibility, remain courageous and firm. Since God has made it possible for you to be in this position, do what you have to do at the right time. Be bold and courageous. The heavens did not fall in times of old and it will not fall now.
“So I urge you as the Chief Judge as well as all other judicial officers to take decisions, heaven will not fall. The Nigerian judiciary will always do the best to ensure that we remain the arbiter between the other two arms of government and the citenzry,” the CJN stated.
Maintaining that the swearing in of Justice Kafarati will bring stability at the Federal High Court, the CJN, urged the new CJ to respect his oath of office.
“I don’t have to remind you of the oath you have just taken. That oath has been your life since you became a judicial officer. You have no other constituency, so continue to abide by it.
“I believe the best witness you can have is time. Man’s memory may fail, but time will always tell. Let time be our witness and let us continue to remain focused on our duty. There is no doubt that the judiciary remains the only hope of man, whether common or uncommon.
“The judiciary cannot function well without the guidance of the constitution. Let the rule of law reign supreme. There may be challenges, but once you abide by the constitution, you can never go wrong.
“The Judiciary will protect you when you adhere to the rule of law, the oath of your office and the constitution of the country,” the CJN added.
Justice Kafarati who was nominated by the National Judicial Council, NJC, headed the FHC in acting capacity since April last year.
Justice Kafarati became a judge of the high court in October 1991. He took over from Justice Ibrahim Auta who bowed out of active judicial service last year upon clocking the 70 years mandatory retirement age.
Among dignitaries who attended the swearing-in ceremony which took place at the Supreme Court, included Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State.