President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, urged the Judiciary to maintain the position of an honest arbiter in the disputes that are likely to arise from the outcomes of the 2023 general elections.
Speaking while commissioning the Body of Benchers Complex in Abuja, he said the judiciary had a major role to play in safeguarding fairness in the 2023 elections and ensuring the sanctity of democratic processes.
“As the 2023 general elections draw near, the significance of the legal profession becomes even more pronounced considering the vital roles you play in the electioneering process, both at the pre and post-election stages. I hope you maintain the position of an honest arbiter,” he said.
He said: “A society where justice thrives is one that can be assured of development.
“For Nigeria to effectively embrace sustainable development, institutions such as the legal profession must remain deeply committed towards promoting good governance.
“As the 2023 general elections draw near, the significance of the legal profession becomes even more pronounced considering the vital roles you play in the electioneering process, both at the pre and post-election stages.
“I hope you maintain the position of an honest arbiter”.
Buhari said his administration would continue to respect and elevate the rule of law.
He noted that adherence to the rule of law is critical to the progress of any society “and this administration has not reneged in its commitment to this ideal.”
He congratulated the Body of Benchers for the successful completion of the complex, which was started in 2008.
He commended the Body for keeping the wheel of justice turning effectively by providing a solid foundation for upholding the rule of law, with over five decades of proven track record.
The president pledged to support improvement in the welfare for staff of the judiciary after the ongoing review.
Chairman, Body of Benchers, Olanipekun, said the complex had a 3,000 sitting capacity hall, 240 capacity meeting room, 1,000 capacity banquet hall, another 1,000 capacity multipurpose hall, offices for staff and a library.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, described the building as “magnificent and befitting of the Body of Benchers’’.
He said the sacrifices of past chairmen and presidents of the Body of Benchers had eventually paid off.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said the legal profession needed to purge itself of charlatans, warning that “we cannot afford to lower the bar, if must retain family confidence.’’
He said Buhari had made improvement in remuneration of judicial workers a priority.
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