Justice Tanko Muhammad, the current Chief Justice of Nigeria has stepped aside from that office. This confirmation came a few hours after rumours of his resignation hit the airwaves.
According to Punch Newspapers, confirmation of this news was given by his Special Assistant on Media and Communication, Ahuraka Yusu Isah. He’s reported to have said “the latest information is that the CJN has resigned; I spoke with somebody very close to him and he said he has resigned.”
It will be recalled that the CJN is currently the subject of certain allegations of high-handedness and favoritism. While no other action has been taken on this allegation, the CJN had responded saying “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.
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“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 the 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 an 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 have at least a legal Assistant, except some may opt for more.”