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2019 polls: Cut off unnecessary friends that will bring judiciary problem, CJN warn judges

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, has again warned judges and justices in the country to cut off all unnecessary friends as politics is around the corner. Justice Onnoghen reiterated the warning on Friday in Abuja while declaring open National Association Women Judges Biennial Conference 2018. The CJN reminded the justices of their oaths of office and ethics of judicial officers and asked them to be guided by it and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in their work. “Politics is a round the corner, cut off all unnecessary friends that will bring problem to the court. Be yourself as long as you are guided by the Constitution, go ahead and do your work, heaven will not fall,” he declared. Specifically referring to the reforms he had introduced in the judiciary, the CJN assured that “the judiciary will get better.” In reference to the theme of 2018 NAWJN biennial Conference: “Life After the Bench: The Judge Emeritus,” Justice Onnoghen observed regrettably that judicial officials including himself who is edging toward retirement spare no thought about retirement. Onnoghen said he accepted NAWJN honouring him as Patron at the function, though since he assumed office he had refused to accept invitations from an endless list of institutions and organisations that have indicated to honour him for the simple reason that he would prefer to be honour at the end of tenure when his policy and achievements would speak for him. He said that the only award he had received was the one given to him this year in Australia which is a great honour to the country. Earlier in her address of welcome, NAWJN president, Justice Uwani Musa Abba Aji, JCA, had stressed the need for serving judicial officials to start early preparation for retirement because it will definitely come either voluntarily or statutorily. “It is no gainsaying that we shall not remain in service as judicial officers forever. A time will surely come when we have to take a bow, voluntarily or statutorily.” “Retirement is undoubtedly a phase that we are all destined to experience, sooner or later. Ideally, we must all brace up ourselves for that inevitable event. The preparations for life after retirement ought to commence now that we are actively employed,” she said. She said that mindful of that inescapable transition, the theme “Life after the Bench, The Judge Emeritus,” was chosen for the biennial conference. She believed that seasoned presenters will hopefully kindle their thoughts and strategies towards a fulfilling retired but not tired post working life. She also believed they will allay their fears of the unknown life after retirement. Andrew Orolua, Abuja

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