The former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed has narrated how the judiciary stood firm as politicians tried to scuttle the 2015 presidential election.
Justice Mahmud Mohammed
Justice Mahmud Mohammed, who retired as the Chief Justice of Nigeria on Thursday, said the Supreme Court under his watch refused to be influenced or intimidated by any candidate or political party in delivering its decisions.
He said the judiciary stood its ground when frustrated politicians tried to scuttle the 2015 elections. Mohammed retired on Thursday after attaining the mandatory retirement age of 70 on Thursday, spoke at the valedictory court session held in his honour at the Supreme Court in Abuja.
The ex-CJN said he had no apologies for the firm decisions the apex court took on cases it adjudicated on and praised the Supreme Court for its determination not to be influenced or intimidated to give decisions in a particular manner.
He said because of the decision of the judiciary not to be influenced, it avoided what had happened in 1993 when the then military government of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, had annulled the 1993 presidential election believed to have been won by the late Chief M. K. O. Abiola, partly on the grounds that a court order had stopped the election.
The ex-CJN said, “Our nation owes the judiciary a debt of gratitude for standing firm in the face of contrary winds that threatened to blow our nation’s democracy off course.
“During the run up to the 2015 elections, our judicial officers withstood immense pressure in order to guarantee a level playing field and smooth transition of government, which ensured that we were spared a re-enactment of the June 12 saga.
“In fact, the courts, thus securing the elect0ral process, disallowed so many frivolous matters aimed at truncating the elect0ral process.”
The ex-CJN said, “I am proud to be a part of the Supreme Court which refused to be cowered into truncating the elect0ral process.”
Justice Mohammed, who praised God for sustaining him during his tenure as the CJN, acknowledged that the judiciary was currently facing challenges.
He called for a concerted efforts of members of the bar and bench to restore the dwindling reputation of the judicial system.
He urged his successor, Justice Walter Onnoghen not to relent in efforts at ridding the Judiciary of all ills.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), who was represented by the Solicitor General of the Federation, Taiwo Abidogun, commended the retiring Justice Mohammed, for his impactful leadership of the Nigerian judiciary.
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