Expectations as Justice Tsoho mounts High Court rostrum

Posted by Adewole Kehinde | 23 August 2019 | 933 times

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•Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Hon Justice John Terhemba Tsoho

The Honourable Justice Adamu Abdu Kafarati finally bowed out of the Bench on July 25, 2019, on attainment of the mandatory statutory retirement age of 65 years, thereby clearing the coast for Hon Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, as the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.

Tsoho was born on June 24, 1959 at Mbaduku, now in Vandeikya LGA of Benue State. He attended St Anthony’s Primary School, Chenge-Mbaduku, from1967 to 1972; Mt Saint Michael’s Secondary School, Aliade, from 1973 to 1977 for his West African School Certificate; Murtala College of Arts, Science and Technology, Makurdi, from 1978 to 1979 for the IJMBE, and the University of Lagos between 1980 and 1984, where he obtained the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B. Hons), before proceeding to the Nigerian Law School in 1985 from where he was called to the Bar.

On graduation, the young John Tsoho did his NYSC at Delta Palm Ltd., Port Harcourt, as company legal assistant, from August, 1985 to August 1986. He went into private legal practice in Gboko, from August, 1986 to October, 1986. He became an Inspector of Area Courts, Benue State Judiciary, from October 1986 to December, 1987; Magistrate/Chief Magistrate from January 1988 to March, 1996. He was appointed arbitrator in a contractual dispute from February, 1994 to June, 1994.

He elected secretary, Magistrates' Association of Nigeria, Benue State Branch, from June 1988 to July, 1990 and, eventually, chairman of the association from December 1995 to April, 1996.

He served as Acting Chief Registrar, High Court of Benue State between August, 1996 and March, 1997. He was appointed substantive Chief Registrar, Benue State High Court from October 9, 1997 to November 11, 1998.

Tsoho was appointed Judge, Federal High Court, on November 12, 1998 and he became the Acting Chief Judge on July 26, 2019

He was also the president of the University of Lagos Law Class of 1980 -1983, from April 2015 to March, 2017.

Tsoho has a reputation for maintaining order and dignity in court proceedings. He competently runs his court and clearly shows that he is in charge, without descending into the arena and without unduly interfering or hindering the parties in the presentation of their cases. He is a patient judge.

He has consistently exhibited patience, open-mindedness, courtesy, tact, courage, punctuality, firmness, understanding, compassion, humility and common sense in his adjudication. 

Also, it is important to note that Tsoho has been on the Federal High Court Bench for more than 20 years without any serious petition against him, except about two frivolous ones that came two years ago, but he was exonerated by the Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC).

I would say that knowledge, experience, good judgment, independence and character stand Tsoho out. He is a judge with sound knowledge of the law and the practice of the courts.

In line with President Muhammadu Buhari's fight for a better nation and corrupt-free society, he has promised to lead by example. After taking oath of office, he said: “If, for instance, it shows that you are transparent, other people will be encouraged to be transparent too.”

He has also promised to set up an anti-corruption committee in line with government policy, requesting all arms of government to set up one. He also promised to strengthen the war against corruption, not necessarily by open propagation, but by genuinely monitoring and advising as appropriate, using such committee, if it already exists on ground.

•Kehinde, an Abuja-based Journalist and Public Affairs Analyst, can be reached via kennyadewole@gmail.com

Source: News Express

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