The chief justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, on Friday said that oath taking is not something to be celebrated, but that those taking the oath deserve sympathy.
He also told newly inaugurated Chief Judges (CJs) that God can only help them if they help themselves.
The judges were Justice John Tsoho, inaugurated as Chief Judge of the Federal High Court and Benedict Kanyipp, as chief judge of the National Industrial Court, at the Supreme Court complex in Abuja.
The CJN said as he inaugurated them, “The law is not a respecter of persons.” Urging them to deal with the situation as they come before them, he asked them never to hesitate “to resign” when they realised an issue of conflict of interest.
Noting that “doing otherwise would bring about a lot of challenges,” Justice Tanko added:
“As it is generally, oath-taking or swearing-in into an office is not something that is celebrated. It is something that actually requires that we sympathise with the person that is sworn in.
“Why did I say so? All your conduct, all your dealings must be within that oath.
“Remember that the oath is dealing between you and your creator, we are only witnessing it.
“An office like that of a judge is something that requires prayers for the person that is taking the oath. So we pray that God will see you through to the end of your tenure.
“You have said God help you. But God will only help you if you help yourself.
“And the only way you can help yourself is to know your onions, know the people you move with and know your principles. Don’t let anybody disturb your principles.”