By CHRIS EKEKE
Judges and magistrates in Kwara State have been barred from taking or accept any chieftaincy title while in office.
The Chief Judge of the state , Justice Sulyman Kawu, gave the directive in Ilorin, the state capital while swearing in 15 new magistrates and six new area court judges.
“You must be mindful of the company you keep and the occasions you attend, bearing in mind the heavy burden imposed by your office and the need to avoid anything that will bring the image of the judiciary into disrepute”, he said.
Kawu said that the appointment of the new judicial officers, as approved by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, was to fill the gap created in the lower bench with the retirement of magistrates and area court judges in recent times.
He warned the new judicial officers to distance themselves from anything touching on corruption which manifests itself in the form ofbribery, graft, nepotism and favouritism among others.
The chief judge warned that anyone found wanting would be dismissed from service and prosecuted in court.
“The judge or magistrate who takes bribe will not only lose respect of the members of the public and the giver of the bribe, but will also have damnation and hell fire as his portion”, he said.
He also charged them to inculcate proper behavioural attitude in court by obeying code of conduct for judicial officers, saying that they must possess self-control and never lose temper or be angry in court.
“According to late Niki Tobi in his book, ‘The Nigeria Judge,’ ‘the word anger is only one letter short of danger and yet it is the only one letter different from angel. So much harm will be done to the judicial process if a judge is regularly angry. Since the community of any angry people is a danger centre, a judge should try as much as he
can to ensure that his court is not a danger centre”, he said.
The chief judge, who said that the judicial oath taken by the new officers was a covenant between them and God with people in attendance serving as witnesses, added that they would be questioned on the day
of rendering of accounts.