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Despite Tanko’s exit, Senate seeks probe of crisis in S’Court

By Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja
29 June 2022   |   3:58 am
Notwithstanding the resignation of erstwhile Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Mohammad, the Senate, yesterday, insisted it would probe messy issues in the judiciary.

Tanko Muhammad

Tinubu applauds acting CJN Ariwoola, wishes Mohammad quick recovery

Notwithstanding the resignation of erstwhile Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Mohammad, the Senate, yesterday, insisted it would probe messy issues in the judiciary.

Fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court had, recently, levelled allegations of corruption against Mohammad. Approving a motion sponsored by the chairman of its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Opeyemi Bamidele, the upper legislative chamber directed that comprehensive investigation be conducted to unravel the remote and immediate causes of the crisis rocking the apex court.

The Senate had, last Wednesday, asked the committee to wade into the matter with a view to finding solutions to problems confronting the nation’s judiciary.

Raising a fresh motion, yesterday, Bamidele said although Muhammad has stepped down, most of the issues Justices of the Supreme Court and other stakeholders raised need to be addressed urgently to prevent eventual shutdown of the judiciary.

The Senate, therefore, mandated the committee again “to interface with 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 immediate fiscal intervention, as well as long-term and sustainable budgetary allocations, required for optimal performance of the judiciary, in line with global best practices.”

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, responded: “We must have interest in what is happening in that arm of government. So, I’ll urge our committee to find out what the real issues are, and how the National Assembly can help.”

MEANWHILE, All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate and National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has congratulated Justice Olukayode Ariwoola on his appointment as the Acting Chief Justice of the Federation.

Urging Ariwoola to bring to the apex judicial position the competence and integrity that have hallmarked his career, he wished Muhammad, who resigned on Monday on health grounds, quick recovery.

In a congratulatory statement issued yesterday by his media office, Asiwaju Tinubu said: “I congratulate Justice Olukayode Ariwoola on his elevation to the topmost judicial position with his appointment as Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

“To say this appointment is richly deserved is stating the obvious. Justice Ariwoola has given everything to the law and judiciary.

“Called to the bar in July 1981 and rising to the apex court as a Justice of the Supreme Court in 2011, Ariwoola has held important appointments over the years during which he demonstrated excellence.

“His over four decades judicial career has been hallmarked by competence, integrity and deep understanding and interpretation of the law without fear or favour.

“I know Justice Ariwoola will bring all of that unto this important appointment and continue to uphold the principles of law with courage and impartiality.

“While wishing him increased wisdom and God’s guidance, I also wish the former CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad, who stepped down on Monday on health grounds, quick recovery.

“I thank Justice Muhammad for his services to Nigeria and the judiciary and I wish him a most memorable retirement.”