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CJN Promises to Leave Behind an Efficient Judiciary
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Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, has promised to leave behind  an independent and efficient judiciary  when he leaves office about two years from now.

Justice Mohammed said having been part of the nation’s judicial system for a decade, he understood its workings and its challenges, and was willing to ensure that a functional judiciary that met the people’s needs was in place.

He said with the support of good minds in the National Judicial Council (NJC), he would build on the structure left by his immediate predecessor in achieving his set objectives.

Justice Mohammed spoke in Abuja at a dinner  held in his honour by a former President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Umaru Abdullahi.

The CJN recalled his past working relationship with Justice Abudullahi, whom he described as his mentor, whose tutelage he said  guided his career path.

He also described Justice Abdullahi as a man of unquestionable integrity, who was guided only by his conscience.

“Throughout our years together, particularly during the military, he was an inspiration to me. I learnt a lot from him. He is a person whose integrity cannot be questioned. During the military era, when all the courts were subjected to a lot of pressure; sometimes, Justice Umaru Abdullahi would look an official in the face and say: ‘look you cannot interfere with our judicial works, keep off.’ That is the kind of person he is.

“That is how I learnt to also be upright in the discharge of my responsibilities as a judicial officer. I have stayed a long time in the system. I will build on the structure left by my predecessor to ensure smooth running of the Nigerian judiciary.”

A former schoolmate of the CJN, Justice John Fabiyi of the Supreme Court and Justice Abdullahi expressed confidence in the CJN’s ability to deliver on his promises in view of what they know of him.

Justice Fabiyi said: “I have known him since 1967 at the Ahmadu Bello University. He is a very humble person and easy going. He is very articulate and firm in his decisions. He has the support of all the justices at the Supreme Court. Next year appears a little frightening, but by the grace of God, we shall overcome.”

Justice Abdullahi said though his appointment as the CJN was a thing  of joy, it comes with huge responsibilities, which requires wisdom and God’s guidance. He called for constant prayers for the CJN.

“Those of us, who know him very well, know that he is capable and also going to be a very successful CJN because he has been part of the Nigerian judiciary for more than a decade. He knows the various stages of judicial functions.  We have no fear that he will make a success of his office, but at the same time, he still needs a lot of prayers from us,” the former PCA said.

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