The Senate on Tuesday resolved to proceed with its ongoing probe of corruption allegations levelled against former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad.
The resolution of the Red Chamber followed a motion by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele.
Bamidele’s motion was titled: “Matter of urgent public importance on the state of affairs in the Supreme Court of Nigeria and demand by Justices of the court, pursuant to rules 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Orders, 2022 (as amended).”
DIPLOMATIC DIARY reported that 14 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.
Justice Muhammad on Monday resigned as the CJN on the grounds of ill-health, cutting short his tenure in office which was expected to last until 2023.
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 lawmakers accordingly resolved that: “Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to go ahead with its assignment in the quest to find a lasting solution to the matter by interacting with relevant stakeholders to address the complaints raised in the petition by the Justices of the Supreme Court;
“Mandate the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to interface with the relevant stakeholders in the three arms of government, as well as at the Bar and on the Bench 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, including the immediate fiscal intervention, as well as long term and sustainable budgetary allocations, required for the optimal performance of the Judiciary, in line with global best practices; and
“Urge the Senate to wish the Hon. Chief Justice well, following many years of meritorious service to the nation and to pray for his good health.”