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THE outgoing Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta on Tuesday disclosed how the court resisted attempts to stop President Muhammadu Buhari from contesting in the 2015 general elections.
According to Justice Auta, “The attempt to stop the President from contesting was rejected by this court”, he yesterday. In his speech on the occasion of the Special Court Session to mark the beginning of the Court’s legal year 2017/2018 in Abuja.
Justice Auta said the Federal High Court stood firm by insisting that every candidate must be allowed to test his or her popularity despite pressures to stop President Buhari and other members of the National Assembly.
He noted that it was the option and insistence of the court that has kept the country together during and after the 2015 general elections.
In his words, “Despite pressures to stop certain members to stop certain members of the Nation Assembly as a result of their abandonment of the party that brought them into power, the court insisted that every candidate must be allowed to test his/ her popularity. The Federal High court refused to declare vacant the seat of any member”.
“Secondly. The attempts to stop the president from contesting was rejected by this court. This is because we in the Federal High Court preferred a level playing ground to all candidates.
On speedy dispensation of justice, the outgoing CJ said the court ensured the appointment of 30 judges which according to him has impacted so well on the court and the overall number of cases.
He added that the appointment of 10 more judges for the Federal High Court bench is about 80% completed to further enhance manpower for the good of the nation and administration of justice.
Auta further charged judges of the court to remain steadfast and to dispense justice without fear or favour and that they be the reason the common man would believe in the goodness of the system.
In a message to the occasion, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) said the Federal High Court had contributed immensely to effective and efficient justice delivery in the country.
Represented by the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayi Akpata said an efficient and incorruptible judiciary in necessary for there to be a meaningful development in the country.
He urged Judges of the Federal High Court to disperse justice in a firm and fair manner and in accordance with the law so as to increase people’s confidence in the judiciary of the country.
The AGF pledged the commitment of his office in ensuring that the Federal High Court remain the court that will provide refuge to the common man.
The body of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, represented by Joe Kyari Gadzama (SAN) described the nation’s judiciary as the best in the world, adding that Federal High Court is the court with the highest impact in the country.
Gadzama said the court is blessed with qualified, God fearing and hardworking Judges.