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Revealed: How Justice Tanko Muhammad Was Forced to Resign as CJN



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A few days after Justice Tanko Muhammad resigned his position as Chief Justice of Nigeria, fresh details have emerged on how and why he threw in the towel.

Justice Tanko had cited ill health as cause of his decision to quit the his role in a letter made public on monday, June 28.

However, different sources have alleged that the the former CJN did not resign over health challenges as speculated.

A source who spoke with Daily Trust emphatically stated that the plot to remove Justice Tanko as CJN was long planned, and merely executed on Sunday.


The source said the plan to remove Justice Tanko was plotted over a year ago, but was delayed by the presence of Justice Mary Odili, who would have only served a solitary year as CJN if she had taken over from the former.

A senior advocate of Nigeria told revealed that Muhammed was forced to resign for two main reasons; the letter collectively written against him by 14 Supreme Court justices, and “certain issues of financial impropriety.”

He noted that though, Muhammad’s veiled health condition was known by many, he was left to continue in the position till December 2023 when he was meant to retire.

“His condition became so obvious when his supporting staff were behind most of the correspondences, which they preface with ‘I have been directed,” he said.


A close source to the ex-CJN, said Muhammad was fetched from his house Sunday night and taken to an unknown destination, where he was forced to sign his resignation letter.

“On arrival, he was presented with a letter of resignation and they demanded that he signed the letter. He was told it was from the president and he obliged them based on that. He was not allowed to make any consultation, including even with his family,” he said.

Justice Tanko Muhammad was replaced with Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, who was sworn in as acting Chief Justice of Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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