The Nigerian Senate has expressed its readiness to probe former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad.
DAILY REPORT recalls that Justice Tanko resigned his position as CJN on Monday, citing health challenges as cause of his decision.
He was almost immediately replaced by Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, who was sworn-in as acting Chief Justice of Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, the upper chamber during its plenary on Tuesday, insisted on probing Justice Tanko over fraudulent allegations leveled against him.
Sequel to a motion on Matter of Urgent Public Importance raised by Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti), the Senators vowed to follow the matter through.
The motion tagged “State of Affairs in the Supreme Court of Nigeria and Demand by Justices of the Court,” was aimed at addressing complaints raised in a petition by the 14 Justices of the Supreme Court.
The Senate had on June 22, mandated the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, to as a matter of urgency, wade into the crisis rocking the judiciary.
Following prayers of the motion, the senate resolved to mandate the committee to go ahead with its assignment in the quest to find a lasting solution to the matter by interacting with relevant stakeholders.
Senator Bamidele, in his motion, which was in pursuant to Rules 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Orders, said;
“The sacred image of the judiciary, which is the epicentre of the temple of justice should be preserved by the Senate through appropriate legislative measures in order to safeguard this highly revered institution and prevent it from being ridiculed.”
The lawmaker who regretted the former CJN’s resignation said that “this development will not prevent the committee from going ahead with its assignment in the quest to find a probable lasting solution to the matter.
“Even though Muhammad 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 shut-down of the Judiciary.”
The motion received support from the senators, who agreed that a probe of the former CJN would initiated.
Recall that 14 Justices of the Supreme Court had accused Justice Tanko Muhammad of corrupton.
The justices protested the non-payment of legitimate entitlements by the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, among other allegations.