He asked her to concentrate on judicial reform and cooperate with the other arms of government to tackle terrorism and corruption in the country.
Jonathan spoke at the Presidential Villa, Abuja shortly after swearing-in Mukhtar as the 13th indigenous CJN and decorating her with the national honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger.
The President also asked the first female CJN to work towards ensuring speedy trials of cases before the courts, saying that justice delayed is justice denied.
He said, “I am confident that you will quickly settle down to work and commence the urgent task of reforming and repositioning the judiciary for effective and efficient discharge of constitutional mandate.
“Your Lordship will preside over the judiciary at a time of profound challenges that demand united response. We believe that judiciary can play a crucial role as we confront critical challenges.
“We are dealing with security challenges occasioned by sporadic act of terrorism in some parts of the country. The three arms of government must work co-operatively to overcome these terrorists’ threats and acts in the country.
“The war against corruption is another endeavour that calls for concerted action by all arms of government. I am confident that the judiciary under your able leadership will rise up to the challenge and provide the most needed support for government to address these challenges.
“Our citizens complained of delayed trial, particularly in cases of corruption, terrorism and other matters of serious concern. This complaint has led to frequent calls for special courts or designation of special judges to handle them with the required experience and speed.
“It will be your prerogative to consider and decide on this call. But I am sure that the entire country is in agreement that justice delayed is justice denied.
“I believe that an independent judiciary remains the final hope of our citizen.”
But speaking with State House correspondents shortly after the ceremony, Mukhtar ruled out the possibility of establishing special courts to try cases of terrorism.
“I talked about that at the Senate that there is no need for a special court. A judge, two or three in the states can be designated to take care of that (trial of terrorism cases),” she said.
On lengthy trials, the CJN warned against heaping the blame solely on judges.
She, however, promised to lead by example and expressed the hope that others would follow suit.
The President later decorated Mukhtar with the national honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of Niger.
She however promised that the judiciary under her leadership would partner with other arms of government to curb the menace.
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