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.

‘History Will Be Kind To Justice Tanko’: Buhari Bestows GCON Title On Ex-CJN

FILE” President Muhammadu Buhari shakes hands with acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, at the State House in Abuja on January 25, 2019.

 

In line with the usual custom, President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday bestowed the nation’s second highest national honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) on outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammed.

Muhammed resigned on Monday citing ill-health.

His resignation comes after a letter signed by 14 Supreme Court justices accused him of mishandling their welfare needs.

READ ALSO: Justice Olukayode Ariwoola Takes Oath Of Office As Acting CJN

Justice Olukayode Ariwoola has been sworn-in to replace him.

In a note on Monday, the President said history will be kind to the departing Justice.

“History will be kind to Justice Tanko Muhammed for his modest contributions to Nigeria’s Judiciary, the strengthening of our democracy and national development,” the President said.

Read the President’s full note below:

In line with the custom of decorating Chief Justices of Nigeria with the second highest national honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, (GCON), and upon the advice of the Council of State in that regard, as his Lordship CJN I. Tanko Muhammed is taking a bow from the Supreme Court, I hereby bestow on him the National Honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, (GCON).

Earlier today, I received a letter from the Honourable Justice Dr. I. Tanko Muhammed, CFR, resigning his position as Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council, on health grounds. The resignation is to take immediate effect!

CJN Tanko was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2006, sworn in on the 8th of January 2007, and became the Chief Justice of Nigeria in acting capacity on 25th January 2019. He became the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman National Judicial Council on Wednesday, 24th July 2019.

Ordinarily, he was scheduled to retire from the Supreme Court on the last day of 2023. Unfortunately, as no man is infallible, ill-health has cut short Chief Justice Tanko’s leadership of the Nigerian Judiciary at this time.

I am therefore constrained to accept his retirement, albeit with mixed-feelings. Much as one may wish that the Chief Justice of Nigeria Muhammed Tanko is able to fully serve his term in office, it presupposes that he is able to perform the functions of the Office without let, hindrance or any form of disability.

The instant resignation of Justice Tanko is however envisaged under Section 231(4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended which contain provisions relating to vacancy and the occupant of the Office of Chief Justice of Nigeria being unable to perform the functions of the Office for any reason.

Under a constitutional democracy like ours, government powers and responsibilities are clearly allocated and shared among the three tiers; the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. The three organs must work harmoniously and optimally in accordance with their respective Constitutional mandates.

Nigeria’s Judiciary under the leadership of Chief Justice of Nigeria Tanko Muhammed judiciously exercised the Judicial powers of the Federation. His era witnessed several landmark, jurisprudential and policy decisions by the Supreme Court, and by extension other Courts established by the Constitution.

CJN Tanko dealt firmly with the issue of reckless and indiscriminate grant of ex-parte Orders that was assuming serious dimensions.

History will be kind to Justice Tanko Muhammed for his modest contributions to Nigeria’s Judiciary, the strengthening of our democracy and national development.

In line with the custom of decorating Chief Justices of Nigeria with the second highest national honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, (GCON), and upon the advice of the Council of State in that regard, as his Lordship CJN I. Tanko Muhammed is taking a bow from the Supreme Court, I hereby bestow on him the National Honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, (GCON).

This occasion is an opportune time for me, to, as always, assure the Nigerian Judiciary that this administration is committed to ensuring the independence of the Judiciary and will not do anything nor take any steps to undermine your independence. We shall uphold the Constitutional provisions on the Rule of Law and the principles of Separation of Powers.

In the circumstances, and as nature abhors a vacuum, I hereby invite Honourable Olukayode Ariwoola JSC, being the next most Senior Justice of the Supreme Court, to come forward to take the Judicial Oath as Chief Justice of Nigeria in an Acting Capacity, pursuant to Section 231(4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

I want to admonish the Justices of the Supreme Court to always remain faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and to remain steadfastly committed to the Oath of Allegiance which they all subscribed to, as contained in the 7th Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

Our Nation is approaching a critical general election in 2023, the Judiciary must not do anything to fail the ordinary people of Nigeria which may make them lose confidence in the Judiciary.

Thank you and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Bred In Iseyin, OAU Graduate: Meet The Acting CJN, Olukayode Ariwoola

A file photo of a justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola. [email protected]

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday swore in Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

His promotion comes after erstwhile Chief Justice, Tanko Mohammed resigned, citing ill-health.

Ariwoola was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 2011.

He was a Justice of the Court of Appeal between 2005 and 2011 after having been elevated from the State High Court of Oyo State. He was first appointed a Judge of Superior Court of record in Oyo State in 1992 from private legal practice.

READ ALSO: Justice Olukayode Ariwoola Takes Oath Of Office As Acting CJN

Ariwoola started his educational career in his home town Iseyin at the Local Authority Demonstration School, Oluwole in Iseyin Local government of Oyo State between 1959 and 1967. He was in the Muslim Modern School in the same town between 1968 and 1969 before proceeding to Ansar-Ud-Deen High School, Saki in Oyo North of Oyo State.

He studied law at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile Ife and bagged his bachelor of laws degree with honors in July 1980. In July 1981, Ariwoola was called to the Nigeria bar and got enrolled at the Supreme Court of Nigeria as a Solicitor and Advocate soon thereafter.

Ariwoola was a State Counsel on National Youth Service (NYSC) at the Ministry of Justice, Akure, Ondo State and later as Legal Officer in the Ministry of Justice of his home state Oyo State until 1988 when he voluntarily left the official bar of the State Civil Service for private practice.

He worked as Counsel in-Chambers of Chief Ladosu Ladapo, SAN between October, 1988 and July 1989 when he established Olukayode Ariwoola & Co – a firm of legal Practitioners and Consultants in Oyo town in August, 1989 from where he was appointed in November, 1992 as a Judge of Oyo State Judiciary.

Justice Ariwoola served as Chairman, Board of Directors, Phonex Motors Ltd – one of Oodua Investment conglomerate between 1988 and 1992. Chairman, Armed Robbery Tribunal, Oyo State between May 1993 and September, 1996 when he was posted out of the headquarters, Ibadan to Saki High Court. His Lordship served on the Election Tribunals in Zamfara and Enugu States in 1999. On Election Appeal Courts in Port-Harcourt, Enugu, Benin, Yola and Ilorin at various times.

Before his elevation to the Supreme Court, he served as Justice of Court of Appeal in Kaduna, Enugu and Lagos Divisions. He is also a fellow of International Dispute Resolution Institute (FIDRI) having been inducted in Dubai, U.A.E in 2014.

He has attended many International and National conferences and workshops in France, Atlanta Georgia, UK and Dubai, UAE.

Ariwoola is happily married with children and he loves reading, listening to good music, photography and shopping.

Electoral Act: Supreme Court Strikes Out Buhari’s Suit Challenging Section 84(12)

 

 

The Supreme Court on Friday struck out President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation’s suit challenging Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act.

The case was expunged on the grounds that it lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the suit and is an abuse of court process.

Earlier, a notice for the judgment delivery was served on President Buhari and the National Assembly on Thursday, inviting them to appear before the court today for the judgment.

The President and his Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had filed a suit at the Supreme Court, seeking an interpretation of the controversial clause in the Electoral Amendment Act 2022.

In the suit filed on April 29, Buhari and Malami, who are the plaintiffs, listed the National Assembly as the sole defendant.


Senate, Reps To Appeal Court Order Removing Section 84 (12) From Electoral Act

Appeal Court Sets Aside Judgement On Section 84(12) Of Electoral Act


There have been several debates regarding Section 84(12) of the amended Electoral Act 2022 which was assented to in February.

Upon assenting to the act, President Buhari had asked the National Assembly to delete the contended clause, however, the parliament declined the president’s request.

Section 84 (12) of the legislation holds that, “no political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”

In their suit marked SC/CV/504/2022 and filed on April 29, 2022, President Buhari and Malami sought an order of the apex court to strike out the section of the Electoral Act, which they argue was inconsistent with the nation’s constitution.

According to the court document, the plaintiffs contend that the Section 84(12) of the Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2022 is inconsistent with the provisions of sections 42, 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended), as well Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and People and Peoples Rights.

The plaintiffs further contended that the constitution already makes provisions for qualification and disqualification for the offices of the President and Vice President, Governor and Deputy Governor, Senate and House of Representatives, House of Assembly, Ministers, Commissioners and Special Advisers.

They urged the Supreme Court to make: “A declaration that the joint and or combined reading of the section 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended), the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 which also ignores Section 84(3) of the same Act, is an additional qualifying and/or disqualifying factors for the National Assembly, House of Assembly, Gubernatorial and Presidential elections as enshrined in the said constitution, hence unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void”.

However, in its decision on Friday, the Supreme Court held that President Buhari having assented to the bill on February 25 2022, can not turn around to challenge same act .

In a unanimous judgement delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim the court said allowing the suit to have it’s way will amount to approbating and reprobating at the same time and no court of law shall allow that.

The Apex Court unanimously agreed that President Buhari lacked the jurisdiction to bring the suit before it because of the nature of the reliefs sought.

Hijab: Lawyer Storms Supreme Court In Religious Attire, Says His Kids Will Do Same In School

 

There was a mild drama at the Supreme Court premises in Abuja on Thursday when a human rights activist Malcolm Omirhobo appeared in his lawyer robe complemented with other traditional apparel.  

The human rights lawyer, who said he is a traditionalist, argued that his decision was based on the Supreme Court judgement that ruled in favour of Muslim students wearing their hijab in Lagos schools.

“I am a traditionalist. I have been missing all along until the Supreme Court gave the judgment on Friday that people can now appear in their religious attires of worship in their school and public school for that matter,” he told Channels Television.

“So, in the circumstance, I just interpreted everything and said they have done the right thing by guaranteeing more of our rights under Section 38 of the Constitution that gives Nigerians the freedom of thought, conscience, and religion from that decision that female students can wear hijab because it is the mode of their worship and any attempt to stop them from wearing it amounts to a violation of their fundamental right. I said, ‘It is good!’

“So, I said I need to also be appearing in my religious attire of worship because it is good for man to be with God all the time. This is my mode henceforth.”

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Sets Aside Ban On Use Of Hijabs In Lagos Schools

A Happy Man

A screen grab of Malcolm Omirhobo at the Supreme Court premises in Abuja on Thursday, June 23rd, 2022.

 

Omirhobo said he will encourage others to wear their religious attires to work, expressing gratitude to the Supreme Court for the ruling.

“My children will go to school like this. I will encourage my relations, my friends; those in the army; those in the police; those in the Navy; doctors; lawyers; they will dress in their mode of worship,” the Delta-born added. “I am very grateful to the Supreme Court. I am very happy about this.”

CJN Replies Aggrieved Justices, Says No Hostility In Supreme Court

A photo combination of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammad and a file photo of a Supreme Court session.
A photo combination of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammad and a file photo of a Supreme Court session.

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammad, has responded to a letter signed by 14 justices of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court justices had lamented the decrepit state of affairs in the court.

The aggrieved justices accused the CJN of refusing to address the issues despite drawing his attention to them.

They complained of a lack of residential accommodation and vehicles at the court.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Sets Aside Ban On Use Of Hijabs In Lagos Schools

The justices further accused the CJN of gallivanting with his “spouse, children and personal staff,” while not allowing them to travel with an assistant on foreign trips.

The justices decried the lack of legal research assistants, despite the magnitude of cases being adjudicated.

On erratic electricity supply, the justices said they have been confined to work between the “hours of 8 a.m and 4 p.m daily, for lack of diesel,” after they were notified of the development by the Supreme Court’s Chief Registrar, Hajo Bello.

In his response, the CJN, in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Ahuraka Yusuf Isah, said the court is also “affected by the economic and socio-political climate prevailing in the country.

 

See the full statement below:

Re: State Of Affairs In The Supreme Court And Demand By Justices Of The Supreme Court

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammad would wish to confirm receipt of letter written and addressed to him by his brother Justices of the Supreme Court Bench.

Judges in all climes are to be seen and not heard, and that informed why the CJN refrained from joining issues until a letter, said to be personal, is spreading across the length and breadth of the society. This was akin to dancing naked at the market square by us with the ripple effect of the said letter

The Supreme Court definitely does not exist outside its environment, it is also affected by the economic and socio-political climate prevailing in the country. Besides that, the Apex Court has to a larger extent, been living to its constitutional responsibility.

When a budget is made, it contains two sides, that’s the recurrent and the capital, yet all the two are broken down into items. The Federal Government releases the budget based on the budget components. And it’s an offence to spend the money meant for one item for another.

Take for instance, the Supreme Court budgeted this year to re-roof and rehabilitate its complex built over 30 years ago and that is being done. The work on the extension of the complex is near completion, the esthetic lawns and cleanness of the perimeters are being well kept, and security and water supply are adequately provided for his brother Justices in their offices and residences. During the period of pandemic, a profound and extra-care was maintained to avoid causalities among them as well as the staff generally. It would have amounted to an act of irresponsibility to divert money meant for the above for otherwise.

The accusation so far, in summary is that more or all ought to have been done and not that nothing has been done; which is utopian in the contemporary condition of our country.

Before eight new Justices were appointed in 2020 onto the Apex Court bench, there was no additional budget to provide new chambers with equipped library, legal assistance, residential accommodations and logistics for them. The Apex Court has to make do with the resources at its disposal to meet their needs over time. All the Justices of this Court has at least a legal assistance, except some may opt for more. One of the CJN’s legal assistance (now Justice Aina) was appointed to Abuja FCT High Court last month, while another (Barr Ramatu) died three months back. Generally the Judiciary is looking up to recruitment of more legal assistance and other supporting staff this year.

Besides, two Supreme Court Justices died within the period under consideration. Both the four retirees and the two departed cost the court some funds in the forms of gratuities and allowances.

Two weeks ago, eight Supreme Court Justices were nominated for a workshop in London as the court cannot take all of them there at once otherwise the job would suffer. They would be going in batches. Accommodations are being gradually provided for the few that are yet to get. There is none of the Apex Court Justices without SUV and back up cars. If any of them were purchased but refurbished, the external and internal auditors are here in the court to take those that bought them up over it.

The high cost of electricity tariff and diesel are national problem. The Chief Registrar might have budgeted for N300 per litre but diesel is now selling for over N700 per litre and therefore has to find a way around it without even bringing it to the attention of the CJN. But there is no way the generator would be put off if the Court is sitting.

The amendment of court rules is on the process, it has to be critically reviewed to avoid conflict with the constitution and other extant laws. Not all the CJN has reviewed the rules in the past. Within the three years his brother Justices mentioned came the pandemic and the judiciary workers’ strike.

The internet services have been restored to Justices’ residences and chambers, just as some allowances have been paid to them. The CJN held a meeting with his brother Justices last Thursday and another one is due to hold this week.

The general public should be rest assured that there’s no hostility or adverse feelings amongst the Justices of the Supreme Court, as everyone is going about his normal duty.

Ahuraka Yusuf Isah, Senior Special Assistant (on Media} to the CJN

14 Justices Write CJN, Lament State Of Affairs In Supreme Court

A photo combination of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammad and a file photo of a Supreme Court session.
A photo combination of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammad and a file photo of a Supreme Court session.

Fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court have lamented the decrepit state of affairs in the court in a letter sent to the Chief Justice, Ibrahim Tanko Mohammad.

In the leaked letter, the Justices accused the CJN of refusing to address the issues despite drawing his attention to them.

They complained of a lack of residential accommodation and vehicles at the court.

The justices further accused the CJN of gallivanting with his “spouse, children and personal staff,” while not allowing them to travel with an assistant on foreign trips.

The justices decried the lack of legal research assistants, despite the magnitude of cases being adjudicated.

On erratic electricity supply, the justices said they have been confined to work between the “hours of 8 a.m and 4 p.m daily, for lack of diesel,” after they were notified of the development by the Supreme Court’s Chief Registrar, Hajo Bello.

1
The Hon Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman National Judicial Council
Supreme Court Complex Three Arms Zone, Abuja Nigeria.

Your Lordship,

THE STATE OF AFFAIRS IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA AND DEMAND BY JUSTICES OF THE COURT

My Lord The Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria, we the entire Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, carefully reviewed the state of affairs in this Court and unanimously resolved to write formally and draw the attention of Your Lordship to our demands.

As a preamble, let it be clearly understood that, the resolution to write Your Lordship was reached with all sense of responsibility. We are serving this Country diligently and to the best of our ability. We resolve disputes between the Executive and the Legislature including all manner of disagreements, between governments and individuals.

We are responsible citizens of this Country. It would be a tragedy if the Nigerian Public were to know that we are unable to resolve our own problems internally without going Public. The decision to write to you formally must be seen by Your Lordship as an effort on our part to preserve the dignity of
the Judiciary and the respect accorded to us by Governments and people of Nigeria. God forbid the day that our internal issues become a matter of National discourse. It would be a catastrophe better imagined.

Your lordship must therefore act before it is too late. My lord may recall that you reluctantly called a Justice’s meeting on the 23rd day of March 2022 after several persistent requests to hold the meeting. Our new Justices
were never introduced formally in a meeting, as has been the practice, from the date of their swearing in on 6th November, 2020 until the 23rd day of March, 2022 when the recent Justices meeting was held.

Your Lordship may also recall that at the meeting we tabled and discussed our demands on:

I. Justices accommodation,
II. Our vehicles,
III. Electricity tariff,
IV. Supply of diesel,
V. Internet services to our residences and chambers,
VI. Epileptic electricity supply to the Court,

We also raised the issue of the failure of the Honourable Chief Justice to carry the Justices along in managing the affairs of the Court, the deteriorating condition of services generally and the state of the litigations
department.

At the meeting, Your Lordship agreed that welfare committee be Constituted to compile and forward our demands. On the 24th day of March 2022, the welfare committee submitted to Your Lordship request for review
of electricity allowance because of the increase in electricity tariff nationwide. The welfare Committee also submitted our request for diesel allowance, because of the epileptic electricity supply, the astronomical hike in the price of diesel and the fact that Justices require electricity to work at home. The Committee also requested for the restoration of our monthly Internet allowance, because we require uninterrupted Internet service in order to have access to materials online to write our judgments. Your Lordship received and ignored these demands since 24th March 2022.

At the Justices meeting, we intimated your Lordship that some Justices sworn on the 6th day of November 2020 were yet to be accommodated by the Court. Your Lordship promised to take up the issue that day. To date Your Lordship has not taken any step in this direction.

With regard to Justice’s vehicles, several are due for replacement, while the new Justices have not received their full complement of vehicles to date. Moreover, some of the vehicles supplied to the Justices are either refurbished or substandard. Your Lordship has not taken steps to address this problem.

At the meeting we also discussed training. In the past Justices were nominated to attend two to three foreign workshops and trainings per annum with an accompanying person for reasons of age. Since Your Lordship’s assumption of office Justices only attended, two workshops in Dubai and Zanzibar. They were not accorded the privilege of travelling with accompanying persons as was the practice. Your Lordship totally ignored
this demand and yet travelled with your spouse, children and personal staff. We DEMAND to know what has become of our training funds, have they been diverted, or is it a plain denial? Your Lordship may also remember that the National Assembly has increased the budgetary allocation of the Judiciary. We find it strange that in spite of the upward review of our budgetary allocation, the Court cannot cater for our legitimate entitlements. This is
unacceptable!

Another issue discussed was the provision of qualified legal assistants. We are aware that even lower Courts provide legal assistants for their Justices and Judges. The Supreme Court, apart from being the highest Court in the
land, is a policy Court. We are confronted with various complex legal issues of national significance with the addition of time bound matters coming in between our regular Court sittings. We require qualified legal assistants in order to offer our best. This demand has not been accorded any attention by the Honourable Chief Justice.

The state of health care in the Court has deteriorated; the Supreme Court clinic has become a mere consulting clinic. Drugs are not available to treat minor ailments. There is general lack of concern for Justices who require
immediate or emergency medical intervention. Your Lordship has not addressed the issue of our rules Court. The Rules of Court are the immediate tools employed by Justices to dispense Justice to Court users.

Your Lordship has kept the amended Rules of Court for almost three years now, awaiting your signature. We strongly believe the new rules will aid speedy dispensation of Justice.

Recently, the Chief Registrar served Justices with an internal memo, that electricity would be supplied to the Court between the hours of 8am and 4pm daily, for lack of diesel. The implication of this memo is that the Justices
must finish their work and close before 4pm. Your Lordship with all due respect, this is the peak of the degeneration of the Court; it is the height of decadence, and clear evidence of the absence of probity and moral
rectitude. Your Lordship, this act alone portends imminent danger to the survival of this Court and the Judiciary as an institution, which is gradually drifting to extinction. The Judiciary is an arm of Government. The Supreme Court of Nigeria, just like the Presidential Villa and the National Assembly, is the seat of the Judiciary as an arm of Government. The implication of the memo is that this arm of Government is potentially shut down. May God never allow that day.

Your Lordship, this is a wake up call. Your Lordship must take full responsibility as our leader. You must not concession your responsibility to people who have no responsibility or stake in preserving and defending the
dignity of the Institution. Your Lordship occupies a position of leadership. We will not wait for the total collapse of the institution. We must not abandon our responsibility to call Your lordship to order in the face of these sad developments that threaten our survival as an institution. We have done our utmost best to send a wake up call to Your Lordship. A stich in time saves nine.

Finally, Your Lordship the choice is now yours. It is either you quickly and swiftly take responsibility and address these burning issues or we will be compelled to further steps immediately. May this day never come.

Please accept the assurances of our highest regards.
1. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola
2. Justice Musa Dattijo Mohammed
3. Justice Kudirat Motonmori O. Kekere-Ekun
4. Justice John Inyang Okoro
5. Justice Chima Centus Nweze
6. Justice Amina Adamu Augie
7. Justice Uwani Musa Abba-Aji
8. Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba
9. Justice Helen Moronkeji Ogunwumiju
10. Justice Abdu Aboki
11. Justice Ibrahim Mohammed Musa Saulawa
12. Justice Adamu Jauro
13. Justice Tijjani Abubakar
14. Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim

Supreme Court Sets Aside Ban On Use Of Hijabs In Lagos Schools

 

The Supreme Court has set aside, the restriction the Lagos state government placed on the use of hijab by female Muslim students in its public primary and secondary schools.

In a split decision of a seven-man panel of Justices, of five to two, the Apex court affirmed the earlier decision of the Lagos Division of Court of Appeal, which nullified a High Court judgement that banned female students from wearing Hijab with their school uniforms.

The court, in its lead majority verdict prepared by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun but read by Justice Tijani Abubakar, dismissed as lacking in merit, an appeal Lagos state government lodged against the Court of Appeal decision.

The Supreme Court said it found no reason to reinstate the October 17, 2014 judgement by Justice Grace Onyeabo of the High Court of Lagos State, which upheld the ban on Hijab.

Benue Governorship: CSO Sues APC, Wants Aondoakaa Prosecuted For Violating Court Judgment

A photo showing the map of Benue, a state in North-Central Nigeria.
An image showing the map of Benue, a state in North-Central Nigeria.

 

The Centre for Social Justice Equity and Transparency has taken the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mike Aondoakaa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria before a Federal High Court in Abuja, over violation of Supreme Court judgement.

In the suit, the plaintiff is asking for the prosecution of the former AGF for flouting the apex court’s judgement which barred him from contesting election into public office for 10years.

The plaintiff joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 2nd and 3rd defendants in the matter.

READ ALSO: ‘This Is Not My Family Inheritance:’ Dapo Abiodun Says After Tinubu’s Jab

The CSO prayed the court to determine the following questions: Whether having regard to the decision of the Supreme Court, delivered on 10th December, 2021, the former AGF is entitled to vie for, public office in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The group also prayed the court to order that the Former Attorney General of the Federation, cannot indicate interest in, or participate in any processes designed to produce an occupant of a public office in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The CSO asserted that the conduct of Mr Aondokaa in indicating interest, purchasing the expression of interest and nomination the 2nd Defendant to vie for the office of Governor of Benue State under the Platform of the APC, is in contravention and contemptuous of the decision of the Supreme Court.

Alleged N96bn Fraud: Rivers Leaders Will Decide If We Prosecute Amaechi – Wike

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Friday said the prosecution of Rotimi Amaechi over an alleged N96bn fraud will depend on leaders of the state.

Mr Wike was speaking during a live broadcast after the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by Mr Amaechi over the probe.

Mr Amaechi, a former Rivers State Governor and ex-Minister of Transportation, is running for President on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

“We are not being vindictive, but we have been vindicated,” Mr Wike, Chief of Staff to Amaechi when the latter was Governor said.

READ ALSO: Amaechi To Appear Before Wike’s Commission Of Inquiry

Mr Wike had set up a panel to probe Mr Amaechi’s dealings after he became Governor and the Supreme Court case was an attempt by Mr Amaechi to set aside the recommendations of the panel.

“If you see that report, as a Rivers man, you’ll cry,” Mr Wike, who is also running for President on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, said on Friday.

“So now the leaders of the state will decide what next step to take; it’s not for only me. Yes, I’m a Governor, but I can’t do it alone. If the leaders of the state says, yes we must prosecute them, I have no choice; but if the leaders say otherwise, I have no choice.”

Mr Wike said Mr Amaechi had mismanaged state funds through Sahara Energy and Tonye Cole, who won the APC governorship primary on Thursday.

“One of it was a diversion of $50 million from Rivers State Government through Access Bank to Sahara Energy,” Mr Wike said. “And the issue became, what did Sahara Energy do for us that we are paying $50 million? Where is the agreement to show we borrowed money from them? Nothing.”

“You said Sahara Energy bought our gas turbines. Why are we paying them $50 million? Did we borrow money from them? Where is the agreement?”

Alleged N96bn Fraud: Amaechi To Appear Before Wike’s Commission Of Inquiry

 

Presidential aspirant under the aegis of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Rotimi Amaechi, will now have to appear before a Commission of Inquiry in Rivers State, where he would answer to allegations regarding his involvement in a N96 billion fraud levelled against him by Governor Nyesom Wike. 

Upon resuming office as governor, Wike constituted a 7-man panel to probe Amaechi, seeking to ascertain how his predecessor had spent a whooping N96 billion which was allegedly withdrawn from the treasury of the state government during his tenure.

The Commission was also to take a critical look into the alleged sales of valuable assets belonging to Rivers State, during the period of Mr Amaechi’s tenure.

Listed assets as specified by the Wike-led government include but are not limited to the Omoku Gas Turbine, Afam Gas Turbine, Trans Amadi Gas Turbine, Eleme Gas Turbine, Olympia Hotel and the award of contract for the execution of Mono Rail Project.


Alleged N96bn Fraud: Supreme Court Sets Date To Deliver Judgement In Rotimi Amaechi’s Suit

Alleged N96bn Fraud: Court Dismisses Amaechi’s Appeal, Orders Him To Pay Wike N1m


Riled by his successor’s brazen move, Amaechi approached the courts, praying that they prohibit Wike from investigating his eight-year tenure as governor of Rivers.

The appeal lingered in the courts for quite a while,  with the High Court of Rivers State and the Court of Appeal, dismissing the former governors suit and prompting him to seek respite in the Supreme Court.

However, a ruling by the apex court today, dismissed the former minister’s plea, thereby, establishing that Amaechi will have to appear before the Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice George Omereji.

Supreme Court Dismisses Dakuku’s Appeal In N6bn Defamation Suit

 

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed by a former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, in a N6 billion character defamation suit instituted against him by former governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili.

In a lead Judgment prepared by Justice Amina Augie but read by Justice Adamu Jauro, dismissed the appeal ordered that parties should bear their respective cost.

READ ALSO: Alleged N96bn Fraud: Court Dismisses Amaechi’s Appeal, Orders Him To Pay Wike N1m

Mr Odili had in October 2016 dragged Mr Peterside to court demanding N6 billion as damages for character defamation.

In the suit, the former Rivers State governor had claimed that Mr Peterside during a press conference in Port Harcourt defamed him in his allegations that Governor Nyesom Wike’s Supreme Court victory was hatched by him.

This allegation was made on the fact that wife to Mr Odili is a Justice of the Supreme Court.