The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC has been instructed to promptly arrest former Nigerian Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad.
Muhammad resigned from his position as CJN on Monday, citing health concerns.
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) stated that Muhammad’s resignation was insufficient to exonerate him of the 14 Supreme Court justices’ corruption allegations.
In a statement issued by HURIWA’s national coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the organization reminded Nigerians that 14 Supreme Court judges had recently filed a petition against Tanko alleging the misappropriation of their welfare funds.
Prior to his resignation, Tanko denied the allegations, but HURIWA, which had previously asked the National Judicial Council and the Code of Conduct Tribunal to investigate him in light of the serious allegations made by the justices, insisted that the retired CJN must not be permitted to leave without consequence.
Since then, President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn in Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as Nigeria’s interim Chief Justice.
And in response to the news, Onwubiko of HURIWA praised the President’s prompt move in appointing Ariwoola as acting CJN.
Nonetheless, he stated, “Justice Tanko Muhammad’s resignation as Chief Justice of Nigeria is not enough; the EFCC and the ICPC must examine the corruption charges leveled against him by the 14 justices of the Supreme Court and, if a prima facie case exists, arrest and prosecute him.”
“Jistice Tanko must be prosecuted in the same manner as his predecessor, Walter Onnoghen, who was investigated and then ousted on a contentious note due to claims that were investigated by both the NJC and CCT.”
“The investigation and potential prosecution of Tanko, if indicted, will create a precedent that Buhari’s anti-corruption battle is not a joke until it is a joke,” if Tanko is prosecuted.