How I’ll Fight Corruption In Nigeria’s Judiciary – CJN Tanko

How I’ll Fight Corruption In Nigeria’s Judiciary – CJN Tanko

How I’ll Fight Corruption In Nigeria’s Judiciary – CJN Tanko

The newly sworn-in Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, says his administration will focus on fighting corruption in the judiciary.

“Anybody who is not satisfied with the job and he wants money, the judiciary or judicial line is not a place for money-making,” Mr Muhammad said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Muhammad was sworn by President Muhammadu Buhari at the council chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He was cleared by the Senate last week after his name was submitted to the lawmakers by the president.

Speaking with State House correspondents after the swearing-in, Mr Muhammad admitted that there is corruption within the judiciary system.

He explained that some people were posing as “go-between, which is between a judge and perhaps somebody who is standing trial.”

These ‘go-betweens’, he said, “go around asking people for money here and there” to settle judges and facilitate judgments.

“I’m sure any judge or any justice who is in his real sense can never ask somebody to go and collect money for him because he knows that he is being paid by the government for what he does,” he said.

Nigeria’s judicial system has always faced allegations of corrupt practices with the most recent involving senior judges.

It was such a scenario that led to the appointment of Mr Muhammad as CJN.

He was appointed as acting CJN following the suspension of Walter Onnoghen, the former CJN, in January amidst allegation of false asset declaration.

Mr Onnoghen was later found guilty of false assets declaration by the Code of Conduct Tribunal. He was forced to retire controversially.

In 2016, this newspaper also reported how the State Security Service raided residences of senior judges over allegations of corruption.

“I’m telling you that the judiciary under my watch by God’s grace would be better in tackling all these kinds of corruption,” Mr Muhammad said.

“You people or any other person who knows about it (corruption allegations), please let him write to me or let him have contact with me and tell me.

“But remember, the thing that is difficult is when we ask you to substantiate, you will be able to substantiate. Don’t just make hollow allegations. Be sure that you are quite in possession of facts you will be able to establish when we ask you to establish your allegation, and we will deal with it.”

The top judge said he will want to see Nigerian judiciary, “if according to my wish, as the best judiciary in the world.

“But you see, we are still learning – but I’m proud to say that Nigerian judiciary I’m sure is one of the best in Africa.

“Now if you take a look at judicial officers – all of us are fully trained and all of us are almost, at interval, going on courses so that we remind ourselves of the ethics that are binding on us.

“Therefore we pray that with the cooperation of the citizens of this country, Nigerian judiciary will be a very big judiciary and we hope it will be successful during our tenure.”

Mr Muhammad, who spent his early years on the bench as a Sharia court judge, had faced allegations of age falsification.

The allegations were, however, struck out for want of evidence by a high court.

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