JUST IN: Ex-CJN, Tanko, Abba-Aji, Okoro 12 Other Supreme Court Justices Lands In Trouble
Information reaching Naija News House says that Ex-CJN, Tanko, Abba-Aji, Okoro 12 Other Supreme Court Justices Lands In Trouble
The immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad may this week be invited by Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters over allegations of corruption against him.
It was learnt that Acting CJN Justice Kayode Ariwoola and 13 other Supreme Court Justices that accused the ex-CJN of corruption in a petition would also be invited.
A source told said that the Committee was putting finishing touches to necessary processes that would culminate in the invitation of Justice Muhammad, the petitioners and other critical stakeholders to a public hearing on the matter.
Before it embarked on Sallah recess, the Red Chamber said that the resignation of the former CJN), Justice Muhammad, won’t stop it from probing allegations raised against him by 14 of his colleagues.
Apart from ex-CJN Muhammad and the acting CJN, Justice Ariwoola, other Supreme Court Justices that may testify before the Senate Panel during the public hearing on the matter include Justice Musa Datijo Muhammad, Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Justice Chima Centus Nweze and Justice Amina Augie.
Others are: Justice Uwani Musa Abba-Aji, Justice John Inyang Okoro, Justice Lawal Garba, Justice Helen Ogunwumiju, Justice Abdu Aboki, Justice I.M. Salnwa, Justice Adamu Janro, Justice Tijani Abubakar and Justice Emmanuel Agim.
The resolution of the Red Chamber was sequel to a motion by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele on the matter.
Bamidele’s motion was titled: “Matter of urgent public importance on the state of affairs in the Supreme Court of Nigeria and demand by Justices of the court, pursuant to rules 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Orders, 2022 (as amended).”
In his lead debate, Bamidele drew his colleagues’ attention of to media reports on the state of affairs in the Supreme Court where Justices of the Court, through a petition, raised issues bordering on deplorable welfare conditions and difficult working environment for the Justices.
The petition by the Justices, according to him, was addressed to the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, National Judicial Council (NJC) before his resignation.
He noted that the President of the Senate had emphasised the need for the Senate to urgently step into the matter “as any issue that concerns the Judiciary is an issue of urgent national importance that the Senate cannot afford to sit-idly by and allow to spiral out of control.”
He lamented that poor welfare for Judicial Officers would hinder them from performing optimally.
In approving the prayers of the motion, the Senate directed the Bamidele-led panel to go ahead with the probe in a bid to find a lasting solution to the matter.
It also mandated the panel to “interface with the relevant stakeholders in the three arms of Government as well as at the Bar and on the Bench and collate aggregate views and positions on the short term, medium term and long term measures needed to decisively address the crisis facing the Judiciary, including the immediate fiscal intervention as well as long term and sustainable budgetary allocations, required for the optimal performance of the Judiciary, in line with global best practices.”
It was learnt that the used the Sallah break to work out modalities for the Public Hearing and it is set to extend invitations to the key players and other relevant stakeholders including the Bench and Bar, anytime soon.
A source close to the committee said what is left is to schedule a date for the Public Hearing and invite those concerned – directly or indirectly.
“The Committee has been working since the matter was referred to it and a date for the Public Hearing will soon be made public and formal invitations extended to the ex-CJN, the petitioners and other relevant stakeholders expected to testify before the Committee,” the source said.
Senator Bamidele could not be reached to confirm or deny the development failed as he did not pick calls placed to his phone number.
Following the calls, our Correspondents got a text message from him, requesting for a text message which was done. He was yet to respond to the message.