The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, has advised the newly sworn-in Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Salisu Garba, to avoid any act that would pitch him against the law.

Mr Muhammad said the head of the High Court judiciary in Abuja must live above reproach.

He gave the advice on Monday at the official inauguration of Mr Garba as the substantive Chief Judge of the FCT High Court in Abuja.

Mr Garba, who arrived the Supreme Court chamber in company with his colleagues and family members, took his oath of office at exactly 2:3p.m

At the event which saw the ceremonial court packed with top lawyers and associates of the new Chief Judge, the CJN urged Mr Garba to imbibe the virtues of “impartiality, fairness, justice and equity,” which he was known for.

Mr Muhammad, who traced his history of working with Mr Garba decades ago at the FCT High Court, said, “You are expected to conduct your affairs within the ambit of the law; anything short of that will set you on a collision course with the law and your creator.”

“You must live above reproach. As the CJN, I will not condone any act of lawlessness. Do what is right and you will etch your name in gold,” he added.

Why CJ’s inauguration was delayed

The CJN disclosed on Monday that Mr Garba’s swearing-in ceremony was delayed due to the lingering strike action by Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).

Court activities across Nigeria have been crippled by the industrial action which began on April 6, 2021.

“After the much delay in swearing-in in the CJ as a result of the JUSUN strike, which has regrettably crippled Court activities across the country for two months, the event is eventually taking place today (Monday),” Mr Muhammad said.

Mr Garba took over from Ishaq Bello who clocked the retirement age of 65 on January 6, 2021.

His inauguration as substantive CJ followed approval by President Muhammadu Buhari and screening by the Nigerian Senate.

PREMIUM TIMES reported that Mr Garba, who will clock the retirement age of 65 years before the end of 2021, was until Mr Bello’s exit the second most senior judge of the FCT High Court.

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