…’Çan your so called evidence stand in a court of law?’
…NJC to make position known today
At a tensed meeting with President Mohammed Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Monday, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmoud Mohammed berated the Director-General of the Department of State Security, Mamman Daura, over his serial harassment and intimidation of the judiciary which culminated in the arrest of seven judges last weekend.
This is coming as the National Judicial Council (NJC) slated Wednesday for the conclusion of its meeting on the arrested judges and the position on the next Chief Justice of Nigeria.
President Buhari also appointed two northerners, Sidi Dauda Baje (Nasarawa) and Paul Adamu (Taraba) as Supreme Court justices, whose names he sent for the National Assembly for clearance.
Also, both arms of the National Assembly Tuesday resolved to probe the invasion of the homes of judges by the DSS.
The Infrastructure News has learned that the explosive meeting between the President and the CJN which was also attended by the DG, SSS, saw the head of the judicial arm of government reeling out several infractions committed against the judiciary by the executive arm through the DSS including threat notes from the DG, DSS to tribunal judges relating to what Daura presented as a position of the president not being comfortable with any ruling in favour of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The CJN, TIN reliably gathered, was emphatic in accusing President Buhari of embarking on an ignominious project designed to intimidate the judiciary on a “scale never seen in the history of Nigeria even when the law stipulates clear measures”.
President Buhari expressed surprise at claims made by the CJN saying he had no knowledge that the DG made such threats to judges in the past before the recent arrests including the involvement of a former Governor of Rivers State and present Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, who made moves to bribe judges, some of whom were amongst those arrested by the DSS.
The DSS boss, TIN further gleaned, stood up to maintain his position that the arrested judges were corrupt and that the agency had evidence of such corrupt practices to which the Justice Mohammed shouted at him: “Shut up and sit down. Do you fight corruption with corruption? Can your so called evidence stand in a court of law?”
Meanwhile, the meeting of the National Judicial Council (NJC) was inconclusive but feelers from the meeting showed that the members were dissatisfied with the crackdown on the judges noting that the reckless behaviour of security agencies had been visited on the judiciary before now but had not reached the present level.
The council, dependable sources said, was disposed to the tradition that the most senior judge succeeds the CJN on retirement and would stand by that decision.
NJC would take a final position on the issue today.