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Senate To Probe Supreme Court Justices’ Allegations Despite CJN’s Resignation

A file photo of a courtroom at the Supreme Court complex in Abuja. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Senate has resolved to continue with its investigation into the crisis in the Supreme Court despite the resignation of Justice Tanko Muhammad as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

Lawmakers in the upper chamber of the National Assembly made the resolution during the plenary on Tuesday following a motion moved by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele.

Justices of the Supreme Court had in a petition addressed to the immediate past CJN raised concerns over the deplorable welfare conditions and difficult working environment in the apex court.

Days after the development, Justice Muhammad resigned as the CJN on the grounds of ill-health, cutting short his tenure in office which was expected to last until 2023.

Barely a day after Muhammad’s resignation, President Muhammadu Buhari swore in Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as acting CJN, being the most senior justice of the apex court.

Addressing his colleagues during Tuesday’s plenary, Senator Bamidele who cited Orders 41 and 51 to move the motion drew the attention of the Senate to the assignment given to the committee at the last plenary, relating to the state of affairs of the Supreme Court.

The Senate, in its resolution, mandated the committee to go ahead with its assignment in the quest to find a long-lasting solution by interacting with relevant stakeholders to look into the complaints raised in the petition by the justices.

It also directed the committee to interface with relevant stakeholders in the three arms of government and other stakeholders 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.

The lawmakers stated this to include the immediate fiscal interventions, as well as long-term and sustainable budgetary allocations required for the optimal performance of the judiciary in line with global best practices.

They also resolved to wish Justice Muhammad well after many years of meritorious service to the nation and to pray for his good health.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had last Tuesday directed the committee to get involved in the matter with a view to unravelling the root cause of the problem in the judiciary and how best the Senate could intervene to address the concerns raised by the justices.

Akinola Ajibola

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Akinola Ajibola
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