UPDATE: Resignation won’t Stop Corruption Allegations’ Probe against ex-CJN, Says Senate 

Sunday Aborisade

The Senate on Tuesday vowed to proceed with its ongoing probe of corruption allegations levelled against former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad.

The red chamber had, at its plenary last Thursday, mandated the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to probe allegations of corruption raised in the petition by the 14 justices of the Supreme Court.

The ex-CJN resigned his appointment on Monday on health grounds.

The Senate at its plenary on Tuesday however said the resignation not withstanding, its committee would still go ahead with the probe.

The upper chamber took the decision after the consideration of a motion by the Chairman of the Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele.

It also tasked the committee to interface with the three arms of government, as well as the Bar and the Bench to collate aggregate views and positions on the short term, medium term and long term measures needed to decisively address the crisis facing the Judiciary. 

The Senate said such measure must include 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. 

Coming under Order 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Orders 2022, as amended, Bamidele recalled that the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, last week, drew the attention of the chamber to media reports on the state of affairs in the Supreme Court of Nigeria. 

He noted that poor welfare of judicial officers would adversely affect the output of the Judiciary in service delivery. 

Opeyemi said: “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.”

He stated that the committee, in taking steps to look into the matter as directed by the Senate President, has started the process of making arrangement to interface with relevant stakeholders both at the Bar and the Bench.

He added that the resignation of the ex-CJN, Justice Muhammed, on Sunday, 27th June, 2022, “will not prevent the committee from going ahead with its assignment in the quest to find a probable lasting solution to the matter”.

Bamidele said: “Even though Hon. Justice Tanko Muhammed has stepped down as CJN, most of the issues raised by the Justices of the Supreme Court and other stakeholders within the Judiciary, still remain and need to be addressed urgently to prevent an eventual shutdown of the Judiciary.”

Related Articles