BY IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI
ABUJA—JUSTICE Zainab Bulkachuwa was, yesterday, sworn in as the first substantive female President of the Court of Appeal in Nigeria.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, who administered oath of office on the new PCA at the Supreme Court in Abuja, warned her to shun all forms of political pressures.
The CJN noted that Bulkachuwa’s appointment came at a critical time when the Nigerian judiciary is undergoing reforms, saying she should, therefore, strive with all diligence to restore the confidence of Nigerians in the appellate court.
The CJN said, “Today marks a significant milestone and an indelible point in the history of the Court of Appeal as Hon. Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa is the 6th President of the Court. Since its inception in 1976 and in fact, the very first female President of the Court of Appeal.
“As I celebrate with you, let me remind you that your appointment is coming at a critical time when the Nigerian judiciary is undergoing reforms; for this reason I charge you to make all efforts to reposition the court, and ensure that confidence in the court is restored. You must strive with all diligence to ensure that you carry out your duties with all honesty, integrity and honour.
“It is pertinent at this juncture to stress that the discharge of the obligations of this venerated office must be executed with the utmost sense of fair play, impartiality and dedication to duty. These and nothing else are the solemn responsibilities of a judicial officer. The office of the President of the Court of Appeal is very tasking and arduous, by this, you are charged to demonstrate purposeful leadership and ensure proper coordination of all the Justices and activities of the court in order to foster greater efficiency in the dispensation of justice.
“Judicial service is a noble calling; a judicial officer’s nobility is exemplified in the personality of the judge; for in reality, the idea of citizens submitting their failings, vulnerability and frailities for determination before a human arbiter underlines the need for the exercise of the highest standard of professionali