As the country approaches the general elections in 2023, Justice John Tsoho, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, has warned judges to be on the lookout for desperate politicians.
Regarding ongoing pre-election cases before the court, Tsoho delivered the charge on Tuesday in Abuja at the 38th Annual Judges Conference of the Judges of the Federal High Court.
The CJ, while commending his brother judges for their understanding and unwavering commitment to handling pre-election cases, told the judges at the opening ceremony that the mandate on the Special Task Force to “avert a looming chaos” was still ongoing, adding that “it is, however necessary to stress that the battle is not yet over”.,
He urged them to ensure that they conclude all the pre-election cases and avert a situation where any of the cases will be caught up with time.
Moreso, he warned of desperate politicians who would want to trap them into getting emotional and deviating from the standard practice as judges.
He said, ” I want to urge your lordships to be extremely careful in handling these cases. These are slippery times, as many politicians are prone to be desperate.
“We must ensure that we do not get emotional or get dragged into their tussle. Everything possible should be done to disappoint agents of disharmony and doom.
“Our jobs as judicial officers require a standard that should be without blemish. Let us, therefore, guard our reputations. Our integrity must be unquestionable, as a good name is better than silver and gold.”
He specially thanked the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola for approving an emergency fund for the Federal High Court when the heavy burden of presiding over pre-election cases was exclusively given to them to determine, in line with the Electoral Act 2022.
The CJN is chairman of the National Judicial Council, a body responsible for the appointment, promotion and discipline of judicial officers.
At the conference, Ariwoola advised the judges to brainstorm on the way forward for the court.
“The conference today is for brother Judges in a closed-door session, to rub minds, discuss closely about how to move forward, how to tackle the challenges facing the court.
“I have no doubt in my mind, you are equal to the task, the challenges are surmountable.
“I like to seize this opportunity to declare this conference open today and I wish you successful deliberation,” he said.