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The Nation Owes The Judiciary A Debt Of Gratitude – Retired Cjn Mohammed

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BEVERLY HILLS, November 10, (THEWILL) – The immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, has declared that Nigeria owes the Judiciary a debt of gratitude for its doggedness which ensured the sustenance of democracy in the face of contrary winds that threatened to blow during the 2015 presidential election.

Justice Mohammed, speaking at a valedictory court session in his honour at the Supreme Court, Abuja, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 70, revealed that there were forces, who wanted to truncate the process leading to the last presidential election, but for the decision of the Judiciary to ensure the success of the process.

“Our nation owes the Judiciary a debt of gratitude for standing firm in the face of contrary winds that threatened to blow our nation's democracy off course,” he revealed.

“During the run-up to the 2015 elections, our judicial officers withstood immense pressure in order to guarantee a level playing field and smooth transition of government, which ensured that we were spared a re-enactment of the June 12 saga.

“In fact, the courts, thus securing the electoral process, disallowed so many frivolous matters aimed at truncating the electoral process.

“I must particularly commend the Supreme Court for refusing to be intimidated or influenced by any candidate or political party, and I make no apologies for the firm stand that we took in our decisions.

“I am proud to be a part of the Supreme Court which refused to be cowered into truncating the electoral process.  I am proud to have headed this noble arm of Government and steering it through some very stormy waters.

“I am proud of the Nigerian Judiciary. Indeed, the need to protect the institutions of the Judiciary from undue influence was a key concern of mine during my tenure.

“Since assumption of office, I have worked to strengthen the integrity of our judicial institutions through the review of the judicial officers appointments process as well as innovations, which will enhance case disposition.

“In addition, the engendering of an open door policy has enabled me to engage with other heads of courts and where necessary, the leadership of the Bar.

“I believe that this continuous engagement will positively reinforce the primary position of the Judiciary in the governance of our nation.”

Justice Mohammed urged the Bar and the Bench to join forces to keep corruption out of the system as he acknowledged that the Judiciary was challenged.

He urged his successor, Justice Samuel Walter Onnoghen, not to relent in efforts at ridding the Judiciary of all ills.

THEWILL recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari swore in Onnoghen, as the acting CJN.

Story by Oputah David