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Muhammad sworn in as substantive CJN, promises graft-free judiciary

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Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad has promised to lead a corruption-free judiciary, demanding a list of genuinely indicted persons for appropriate action.

He made the pledge yesterday after being sworn in as the nation’s 18th substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja.

Muhammad, who acted for six months, replaced Justice Walter Onnoghen that voluntarily retired from service this year.

Addressing newsmen after the ceremony, the CJN stated: “I am telling you that the judiciary under my watch by God’s grace would be better. And concerning issues of corruption, I will ask you people or any person who knows about it to please let him write to me or establish contact with me.

“But remember, the thing that is difficult is when we ask you to substantiate, you will be able to substantiate. Don’t just make a hollow allegation. Be sure that you are quite in possession of your facts to establish your claim when we ask you to do so, and we will deal with it.”

He added: “With the cooperation of the citizens of this country, the Nigerian judiciary will be a very big one and we hope it will be successful during our tenure.”

Dismissing allegations that those standing trial often influence judgments, Justice Muhammad asserted: “Don’t ever believe in that kind of thing except it is told in the court.”

“I am sure any judge or justice, who is in his real senses, can never ask somebody to go and collect money for him because he knows that he is being paid by the government for what he does.

“For anybody who is not satisfied with the job and wants money, he or she should know that the judiciary or judicial line is not a place for money-making.

“The judiciary is where you make a lot of names and you do what the law asks you to do, and this is what we have been doing.”

Those that attended the inauguration include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila; Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege; Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum.

Others were Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, and Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita.


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