The Chief Judge of the Federal High, Justice Ibrahim Ndhai Auta on Tuesday said Nigerians should be grateful to the judiciary for preserving the unity of the country.
Justice Auta also revealed why the court did not disqualify President Muhammadu Buhari from contesting the 2015 presidential election inspite of several court cases against him.
Justice Auta who spoke on the occasion of the commencement of the 2017/2018 legal year held in Abuja, disclosed that the court has an unbiased arbiter took the decision so as to allow a level playing ground for all contestants in such a general election.
The Chief Judge hinted that attempts to prevent some National Assembly members from contesting the 2015 polls on account of their defection from one party to another was resisted by court so as to allow all eligible candidates test their popularity among the Nigerian people.
Justice Auta therefore asked Nigerians to be grateful to the judiciary for preserving the unity of the country.
“Despite all pressures to stop certain members of the National Assembly as a result of their abandonment of the party that brought them to power, the court insisted that every candidate must be allowed to test his/her popularity.
“Secondly, the attempt to stop the president from contesting was also rejected by this court. This is because we in the Federal High Court preferred a level playing ground to all candidates.
“It is this option and insistence of this court that has kept the country together during and after the election. The Nation therefore owes it to the judiciary and particularly Federal High Court for the unity of this country”, he said.
While he said the court joins other Nigerians to pray for the good health of the President in his bid to provide quality and exemplary leadership for the country, Justice Auta, however charged Judges to be bold in taken far reaching decisions even in the face of persecution in order to preserve the unity of Nigeria as well as continue to repose confidence in the judiciary is the last hope of ordinary Nigerians.
“I urge you to be the reason the common man would believe in the goodness of the system. Do not be worried about the social media and those that deliver judgement on the pages of newspaper.
“The job of judging is a special gift from God and in the end you will face God to justify your actions”, he said.
“I pray that God changes our mind to think more about the unity of Nigeria where everyone is treated as one and the same. Our job is perhaps the only one that guarantee the aspirations of our founding fathers”, he added.