By; Sunday Ode, Abuja.
Justice Walter Onnoghen took his oath of office as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) on Tuesday with a charge by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to restore the eroding public confidence in the nation’s judiciary.
Osinbajo who administered the oath of office in a brief ceremony at the Council Chamber in the Presidential Villa, Abuja noted that the three arms of government had lost public confidence.
He said: “My Lord, you have assumed this position at a crucial time in the history of our nation. It is a time when all arms of government have suffered the loss of confidence of the people of this nation and it is so also with the judiciary.
“It is a time when our Lords and Justices of our courts are called upon to resuscitate that confidence that the people of this nation want to have in the institutions of government and indeed in the judiciary.
“I pray that your tenure will revive and sustain that confidence. “
The Acting President described the responsibility of the Chief Justice to dispense fairness, justice and truth as simply awesome and next to powers of God Almighty and urged him to exhibit a much higher moral and ethical standards.
Onnoghen, in his remarks, pledged to abide by his oath of office and sued for cooperation among the three arms of government in order to move the country forward.
He also stated that adherence to the rule of law and respect for the independence of the judiciary would go a long way to address some of the seething problems currently bedeviling the nation.
His words: “on my part as the head of the judiciary, I assure you that from the past experience, the key to everything in a democratic setting is adherence to the rule of law. There lies the solution to our problems. Let us try to encourage the independence of the judiciary so as to ensure the rule of law.
“If everyone realizes that they are subject to the rule of law and that there are certain things that are tackled according to the rule of law and behave accordingly, it will benefit all of us.”
Justice Onnoghen was earlier sworn-in last November as the Acting CJN following the retirement of Justice Mahmud Mohammed.