The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad, has sworn in 250 Election Petition Tribunal Judges that will handle 2019 National Assembly, Governorship & State Assembly election petitions, just as other Justices of the Supreme Court boycotted the event.
Our correspondent observed that the swearing-in ceremony was poorly attended.
It was gathered that the Justices are protesting the suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the CJN by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday.
While addressing the 250 tribunal judges at the ceremony that took place inside the Supreme Court, the Acting CJN, said the Judiciary Arm of Government was passing through a turbulent period.
Mr Muhammad suggested that there is a plot to destabilize the Judiciary, saying it was time for Judges to stand and protect its integrity.
He said: “As your lordships take the oath of office as Chairmen and Members of the Election Petition Tribunals, let me remind you that this oath is a solemn appeal to Almighty God.
“Therefore, it is to God Almighty that you will be ultimately responsible. It is from this oath that your duties and responsibilities as Chairmen and Members of the Election Petition Tribunals in your various places of assignment spring forth and has a binding effect on each and every one of you.
“This is an ethical undertaking to justice as well as to uphold the Rule Of Law in our courts and tribunals.
“As such, I implore you to discharge this onerous duty diligently and with the fear of God Almighty.
“The judiciary is in the trying time, you must stand, I repeat you must stand to protect and uphold the integrity of this arm of government.
“If any other person is trying to destroy it, we should try to protect it. “If we don’t protect it ourselves, no one can do it for us. Therefore it is our sacred duty to see that we protect the judiciary.
“I, therefore, congratulate you on this appointment and I urge you to see this assignment as a call to greater service to your nation.
“I encourage you to uphold and enhance the honour, integrity and standing of the judiciary and I pray that the Almighty Allah will bestow upon you strength, good health and wisdom and capabilities in the performance of your duties”.