Don’t take your appointment for granted, CJN tells FHC judges

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, on Wednesday, cautioned the Federal High Court (FHC) judges against taken their appointment for granted.
Justice Ariwoola, who made the statement while declaring open the 39th Annual FHC Judges’ Conference and the FHC’s 50th Anniversary Lectures in Abuja, urged them not to hesitate to consult to bring the best out of their rulings and judgments.
The CJN enjoined the judges to be hardworking and diligent in justice delivery, while calling on them to always write their judgements in a way that the appellate court would always affirm.
“Anyone that is lucky to be appointed to this court, without mincing words, is indeed very lucky and should not take that for granted.
“I implore you all to please continue to work very hard; work hard and harder and go extra mile each time.
“Do not assume that what then are the gentlemen at the appellate court doing. No, let that (appellate) court affirm your decisions.
“Always write your judgments that the appellate court will have no choice than to affirm your decisions.
“Don’t leave any loophole,” he said
According to CJN, to be a judge, certainly, is not a child’s play, particularly at your court where you don’t sit as panel; you sit as a lone ranger.
“You sit all alone, you are the lord of the court. Please, always go extra mile even in what you consider a simple application.
“It is your court. You are not there to impress anyone at all. If you need to take a break to consult your note, to consult your books before you rule, no application by counsel is simple.
“Make relevant consultations and come to give your ruling,” he said.
Ariwoola, who said the judges should not feel threatened if lawyers opted to go on appeal, said “an appeal is an entitlement.
“That is what the Appeal Court is there for.”
The CJN, who described the FHC as the largest court in Nigeria, said it was the best of the courts of trial.
“The jurisdiction  of the court has kept being expanded. It is the only court that has originating jurisdiction on electoral matters,” he said.
He said though FHC was not the only federal court, it was, however, the best of the federal courts.
He expressed optimism that the judges would gain a lot from the wealth of experience of the lecturers.
Earlier, the Chief Judge of FHC, Justice John Tsoho, said it had been the practice of the court from inception for judges of the court to meet annually to appraise the activities of the previous year, with a view to finding solutions to identified problems.
“The object of this conference, therefore, is to critically discuss any issues confronting us as a court and seek remedies to them.
“We will also be addressed by practitioners in different fields of knowledge and learning, which will help us to continue to have a grip on our health and intellectual competence,” he said.
He said the FHC would always seek ways and means to enhance justice delivery in the country.
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