Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, has called on the National Judicial Council and the Code of Conduct Tribunal to probe the corruption allegations levelled against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, serving justices of the Supreme Court.
In a statement signed by the group’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, on Wednesday, HURIWA stated that the CJN should step down as Chairman of the NJC for the investigation to be conducted.
The group noted that the failure of the NJC and the CCT to investigate the allegations against Muhammad was tantamount to injustice considering the fact that the former CJN, Walter Onnoghen, was removed on a controversial note following allegations against him which were probed by both the NJC and the CCT.
It was earlier reported that Justices of the Supreme Court had, in a joint petition, accused the CJN of corruption, maladministration and incompetence.
However, Muhammad denied the allegations and described the petition of the Justices as “dancing naked at the market square”. He also lamented the effect of the economic situation of the country on the apex court.
HURIWA, however, said an intervention by the Body Of Benchers would mend the broken fences between the Justices and the CJN.
The statement reads in part, “The NJC, the CCT and the National must swiftly probe the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad. The corruption allegations levelled against him are too weighty to be ignored considering the fact that these are allegations from Supreme Court justices.
“The matter should not be left for Muhammad to resolve as he can’t be a judge in his own case since he is being accused of corruption. It is a big disappointment if those allegations are validated because of the fact that people who should uphold the law are not to break it with impunity. But of course, these are all mere allegations but merit thorough independent investigation.
“HURIWA calls on the NJC, the CCT, the National Assembly, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission to probe Muhammad just as they all investigated his predecessor, Walter Onnoghen. This is what justice and equity mean. There must be no sacred cows.”
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