Former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad who resigned on Monday, June 27th, 2022 is in hot soup.
The Senate has vowed to probe him. Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele said:
“The sacred image of the judiciary, which is the epicentre of the temple of justice should be preserved by the Senate through appropriate legislative measures in order to safeguard this highly revered institution and prevent it from being ridiculed.”
“This development will not prevent the committee from going ahead with its assignment in the quest to find a probable, lasting solution to the matter.”
“Though Muhammad has stepped down as CJN, most of the issues raised by the justices of the Supreme Court and other stakeholders within the judiciary remain and need to be addressed urgently to prevent an eventual shut-down of the Judiciary.”
Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Sabi Abdullahi said:
“This motion will show clearly that the Senate is not unaware of the role it is supposed to play.”
“Of course, in playing that role, we also respect principles of separation of powers. Our concern is that the judiciary as an arm of government deserves all the support it needs, being the last hope as far as the rule of law is concerned.”
Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege said:
“I am very embarrassed as a lawyer and someone from the judicial family.”
“Seeing that petition on social media and eventually in the mainstream media, I was taken aback because it has never happened, it is unprecedented. There is no reason the judiciary should lack anything financially.”
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said:
“I can see most of the emphasis is on funding. When we look into the issues, they go beyond funding. We should look at other areas, whether there is need to improve on the structures or issues that may not be about funding but funding is, of course, a major issue.”
For those who don’t know, 14 justices of the Supreme Court leveled allegations of corruption against the former CJN, Muhammad.
The justices, in a memo, protested non-payment of legitimate entitlements, non-replacement of poor vehicles; accommodation problem; lack of drugs at the Supreme Court clinic; epileptic electricity supply; increase in electricity tariff; no increase in the allowances for diesel; lack of internet services in residences and chambers, among others.