Troubled by the raging storms rocking the apex Court of Nigeria, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has petitioned the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate the allegations and counter-allegations by some Justices in the Supreme Court of Nigeria against the immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Ibrahim Tanko, and prosecute anyone found guilty.
In a letter dated 22nd of June, 2022 and addressed to the Chairman of ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, HEDA urged the Commission to stand tall over the allegations of corruption, maladministration and incompetence levelled against Tanko Muhammad recently by his brother Justices of the Supreme Court.
“As a leading Anti-Corruption Organization in Nigeria and Non-partisan human rights and development league with the mandate to protect and promote universally recognized human rights, public accountability, transparency and environmental justice in Nigeria and Africa, in accordance with International best standards, we call on ICPC to commence investigation into the budgetary allocation, utilization and development process of the judiciary with a view to sanitization of that critical arm of government,”
Recall that on the 21st day of June 2022, it was widely reported that the Chief Justice of Nigeria; Hon. Justice Ibrahim Tanko responded to the allegations brought against him by 14 Justices on the aforementioned allegations.
HEDA’s Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, restated the allegations (which is in the public domain) that the budget of the Judiciary has been allegedly operated between the CJN and Registrar of the Court with little knowledge or involvement of the justices of the Court , thereby promoting opacity, discrimination, favouritism and corruption in the management of the judiciary and more importantly its resources.
Suraju maintained that the recent revelations of abuse of office with respect to funds of the judiciary by the penultimate CJN and allegation of the recently resigned CJN on traveling abroad with wives and children while on official assignments was uncalled- for.
“It is unarguable that the Judiciary is the last hope of the helpless and its Judges are only meant to be heard and not seen. However, these allegations made by fellow Justices of the apex Court against the Chief Justice of Nigeria cannot be overlooked as it is weighty and must be diligently investigated by the Commission in order protect that vital institution.
“If the Supreme Court of Nigeria is infested with corrupt persons, then our democracy is doomed, ICPC and others relevant bodies should rise and act fast to redeem the temple of Justice from possible collapse,” he urged. The public will remember how same Justice Tanko surprise the country with the story of his primary school certificate eaten by vicious termites during screening by Senate for his confirmation as Chief Justice of Nigeria.