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SENATE ORDERS FRESH PROBE OF EX-CJN OVER CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS

The Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, on Tuesday, received a fresh order to probe the erstwhile Chief Justice, Tanko Muhammed over the allegations of corruption raised against him by some justices of the Supreme Court.

14 Justices of the Supreme Court had recently levelled allegations of corruption against Tanko Mohammed

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has then mandated the Committee led by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele to probe the allegations levelled against the ex-CJN and the crisis presently rocking the judiciary.

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Lawan said that the red chamber mandates the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to go ahead with its assignment in the quest to find a lasting solution to the matter by interacting with relevant stakeholders to address the complaints raised in the petition by the Justices of the Supreme Court.

The Senate noted that on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, senator Lawan drew the attention of the Senate to the media reports on the state of affairs in the Supreme Court of Nigeria, whereby Justices of the Court, through a petition signed by a majority of them, raised issues bothering on deplorable welfare conditions and difficult working environment for the Justices, which was addressed to the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, National Judicial Council.

The President of the Senate emphasised the need for the Senate to urgently step into the matter as an issue that concerns the Judiciary is an issue of urgent national importance that the Senate could not afford to sit idly by and allow to spiral out of control.

The committee chairman, Senator Bamidele said his team was taking steps to look into the matter as directed by the President of the Senate by making arrangements to interface with relevant stakeholders both at the Bar and on the Bench.

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Bamidele said that the poor welfare of Judicial Officers would affect the delivery of the judiciary in respect of their output and will prevent them from performing optimally.

Bamidele added that it is a regret that the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed on Sunday, June 27, 2022, voluntarily resigned his appointment on grounds of ill-health, leaving the most senior Justice to act as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria. However, this development would not prevent the Committee from going ahead with its assignment in the quest to find a probable lasting solution to the matter.

He revealed that Though Hon. Justice Ibrahim 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.

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