The former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, must be detained right away, according to a directive from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, or EFCC.
Muhammad had resigned from his position as CJN on Monday, citing health concerns.
According to the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, Muhammad’s resignation was insufficient to exonerate him of the corruption charges brought against him by the Supreme Court’s 14 judges.
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the national coordinator of HURIWA, issued a statement on behalf of the organization informing Nigerians that 14 Supreme Court judges had recently petitioned Tanko and claimed their welfare payments had been diverted.
However, HURIWA, which had earlier requested that the National Judicial Council and the Code of Conduct Tribunal investigate Tanko regarding the serious allegations made by the justices, insisted that the retired CJN should not be permitted to leave without being held accountable. Tanko denied the allegations before resigning.
Justice Olukayode Ariwoola has now been sworn in as the interim Chief Justice of Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In response to the news, HURIWA’s Onwubiko praised the President for acting quickly to appoint Ariwoola as interim CJN.
He, however, said, “The resignation of Justice Tanko Muhammad as the Chief Justice of Nigeria is not enough; the EFCC and the ICPC must swing into action, investigate, then if a cause of acton is ascertained, then arrest and prosecute him over the corruption allegations levelled against him by the 14 justices of the Supreme Court if a prima facie evidence exists.
“Jistice Tanko must be prosecuted just as his predecessor, Walter Onnoghen, who was probed and later removed on a controversial note following some allegations against him which was probed by both the NJC and the CCT.
“The investigation and probable prosecution of Tanko, if indicted, will set a precedent that Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade is not a joke unless it is a joke.”
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