…Warns against hollow allegation against corruption
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
CHIEF Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Tanko Mohammed, said, yesterday, that the judiciary would assist the executive arm of government fight corruption, describing the nation’s judiciary as one of the best in Africa.
The CJN, who was sworn in by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, also told those making corruption allegation not to bring hollow allegation that they would not be able to substantiate when called upon.
Mohammed was first sworn in on January 25 this year as the acting CJN when President Buhari suspended the immediate past CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen. He became the 18th CJN at the brief ceremony.
Mohammed, who took over from the immediate past and retired CJN, Onnoghen, was screened and cleared by the Senate last week. He has been in an acting capacity since January 2019.
Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the ceremony, Mohammed said his intention was to make the Nigerian judiciary among the best in the world.
“But you see, we are still learning, but I’m proud to say that Nigerian judiciary is one of the best in Africa,” he said.
He assured that his tenure would assist the executive arm of government more in the fight against corruption.
He said: “Well, we are supporting the government in fighting corruption because we interpret the law and we come with better interpretation, even if there is any case which is pending and I tell you that we have been speeding up any case that has to do with the allegation of corruption. we speed it up so that if somebody is required to go to jail, he will go jail and that is the end of it.
“We would see that all these transcend down to the lower epoch of the judiciary so that even the Area Courts, Magistrate Courts will see what we do and would be bound by what we do.
“I’m telling you that the judiciary under my watch, by God’s grace, would be better and the issues of all corruption, I will ask you people or any other person who knows about it to 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 a hollow allegation that we have heard.”
In his remarks, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said everything was set for the nation to move to the next level with the swearing-in of a substantive CJN.
He said the three arms of government would also complement one other, stressing that there would be checks and balances.