The Chief Justice of Nigeria yesterday said that he will not shield any judge involved in corruption.
The CJN expressed support for the anti-corruption fight of President Mohammadu Buhari even as he urged Nigerians not to allow the recent raid in the residences of the seven judges to erode their confidence in the the nation’s Judiciary.
The number one law officer expressed concerned over what he termed as rising antagonism over the recent arrest of Judicial Officers and other issues pertaining it.
“Furthermore, it must be reiterated that the current misunderstanding is only between the National Judicial Council (NJC), which was established by the Constitution and the Directorate of the State Security (DSS), in the Presidency.
“Hence, we must emphasise that the Judiciary continues to maintain cordial relations with the other arms of government, that is, the Executive and the National Assembly”
Justice Mahmud, in a statement issued on his behalf by his senior special assistant, Hadiza Sa’eed, reiterated his stand that the call on NBA for the suspension of judges being investigated for alleged corrupt practice was hasty.
“On the call by President of the Nigerian Bar, A. B. Mahmoud, SAN, to suspend Judicial Officers whose residences were invaded and who were subsequently arrested and detained by the DSS, we believe that the call was unnecessary and hasty as the said Judicial Officers are still being investigated by the DSS”
He noted that “the DSS is yet to forward any complaint or any official communication regarding the seven Judicial Officers to the National Judicial Council”
Continuing, the CJN said “Indeed, some of the affected Judicial Officers have already been investigated by the NJC, which found some culpable and recommended their removal from office by dismissal or retirement to the President and respective Governors as provided under the Constitution”
He added that “some are still being investigated by the NJC, in respect of others, no complaint against them has been received by the NJC whose powers to suspend must be exercised in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution establishing it”.