Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, says public opinion can’t override the constitution in decisions of the court.
Justice Ariwoola stated this after the oath-taking of 23 new judges of the Federal High Court at the Supreme Court Complex in Abuja on Wednesday.
The CJN said, “Several vitriolic attacks are regularly heaped on the judiciary; it is, however, crystal clear that public opinion, no matter how serious or weighty it might be, cannot override or supersede the constitution of the country which we apply in deciding each case.
“Nevertheless, your lordships still owe your conscience and the generality of the Nigerian masses, particularly those who are looking up to you, the great responsibility of good moral rectitude and acceptable conduct to uphold and consolidate the trust reposed in you.”
Ariwoola charged the new judges to be impartial, fair and apply justice in the work as their appointment at the country’s perilous time was by divine ordination.
The CJN, who expressed sympathy for the landmines placed for judges, said justices were not spirits or superhuman beings yet so much impossible things are expected from them by the society.
He added that they must rise above trials and temptations.
Ariwoola added, “Appointment to the bench is not an appointment to wealth, vainglory, dishonest disposition or ostentatious lifestyle through corrupt acquaintances. The searchlight of the National Judicial Council beams brightly on all judicial officers across the country. The NJC should never, either by omission or commission, be mistaken for a toothless bulldog. It can bark fiercely and as well bite deeply and aggressively, too.
“Our radar is sophisticated enough to detect every form of corruption and wrongdoing by Judicial officers; and we will not waste a moment in taking the necessary action to fish out the bad eggs.”