RESTORE CONFIDENCE IN JUDICIARY, JONATHAN CHARGES NEW CJN
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday swore into office Honourable Dahiru Musdapher as acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), with a charge to restore the confidence of Nigerians in the judiciary.
He has also assured the judiciary of indepedence as his administration would not interfere in its operations.
Musdapher's position becomes substantive when confirmed by the Senate.
In his remarks after the swearing in ceremony which lasted 15 minutes at the State House, Abuja, the President expressed confidence that Musdapher would rekindle faith in the nation's judiciary, even as he commended the retiring CJN, Alloysius Katsina-Alu, for his courage and patriotism while he held forte.
Jonathan also pledged that the executive would continue to positively engage the Judiciary and Legislature in efforts to bring development to the country.
According to him, the nation owes debt of gratitude retired Justice Alloysius Katsina-Alu who attained the mandatory age of 70, on Sunday August 28, 2011, 'for providing effective and courageous leadership to the judiciary at the critical period in our nation's political developmental history.
'As he retires from active service, it is my hope that he will remain ready and willing to continue to avail the nation, of his worthy attributes of courage, diligence, selfless service and common patriotism. On behalf of government and people of Nigeria, I wish him retirement life marked with robust health, fulfillment and Almighty God's enduring protection and provision'.
President Jonathan noted that Justice Musdapher was assuming office at a very challenging time not only for the judiciary but for the larger society which looks up to the judiciary as an impartial and courageous arbiter.
'Given his rich antecedents and compeling experience, I am confident that he will be able to brace up to these challenges and rekindled the people's faith and confidence in the judicial process.
On our part, I assure that this administration is totally committed to upholding the tenets of the rule of law and independence of the judiciary. We shall continue to engage with the judicial and the legislative arms of government on the basis of mutual respect and productive engagements.
'I congratulate Justice Dahiru Musdapher on his deserved appointment as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and I wish him a most successful and fulfiling tenure.'
Justice Mustapher in an interview with State House correspondents after the event assured that he would do justice to all for the common good of the country.
'The downturn in the society has not left the judiciary alone, no doubt about it. God willing, we will do everything to ensure that things are better in the judiciary,' he noted.
He continued, 'We will face the challenges squarely and make sure that it becomes one of the best in the world.
'The delays in the dispensation of justice will be reduced to the barest minimum, we'll make sure that we look at the procedural rules and all the laws and make suggestions for the amendment to the laws governing the procedures.'
Asked to comment on his appointment, Musdapher said, 'Well I don't know. It is the prerogative of the president. The constitution is very clear. As far as I'm concerned, it is the prerogative of the president to pick and choose anyone he wants from the judges of the Supreme court or anywhere else.'
Musdapher, was born on July 15, 1942 in Babura Town, Jigawa State.
He attended Babura Elementary School 1950-53; Birnin Kudu Middle School 1954-56 Rumfa College, Kano 1957-62; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria 1963-64; University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies 1964-67 Inns of Court School of Law (Middle Temple) 1964-67 and Nigerian Law School 1967-68.
His employment records include, Private Legal Practice 1968-76, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Kaduna State 1976-78, Judge High Court of Kano State 1979 Chief Judge, Kano State Judiciary 1979-85; Justice, Court of Appeal 1985-2003, Justice, Supreme Court of Nigeria 2003 until yesterday when he was sworn in as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.
He was bestowed with the national honors of the Commander of the Order of the Niger, (CON) 2003 and Commander of the Federal Republic, (CFR) 2009.
Some of the professional bodies in which he is a member include, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Chairman Body of Benchers, Vice Chairman National Judicial Council, member World Jurist Association and Chairman Nigerin Institute Advance Legal Studies, among others.