…as Tanko promises to purge judiciary of corruption
By Lawrence Olaoye
Following the confirmation of Justice Muhammed Tanko as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) last week, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday swore him in at the Presidential Villa.
Tanko became the substantive CJN after functioning in acting capacity for about six months in office.
Reacting to question from newsmen after the brief ceremony conducted before the Presidential Policy Dialogue yesterday, the new CJN promised to purge the nation’s judiciary of corruption.
According to him, his target was to make the nation’s judiciary the best in the world even as he insisted that it is currently one of the best in Africa.
He promised to work with the government in its efforts to fight against corruption and reposition the nation’s judiciary.
Asked of his vision for the judicial arm of government, Tanko said “I will want to see Nigerian judiciary, if according to my wish, as the best judiciary in the world. But you see, we are still learning – but I’m proud to say that Nigerian judiciary, I’m sure is one of the best in Africa.
Now if you take a look at judicial officers – all of us are fully trained and all of us are almost, at interval, going on courses so that we remind ourselves of the ethics that is binding on us. Therefore we pray that with the cooperation of the citizens of this country Nigerian judiciary will be a very big judiciary and we hope it will be successful during our tenure.”
On support to the executive in its fight against corruption, he said “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 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.
And 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 they would be bound by what we do.”
He challenged anyone with proof of corruption against any of the judges to contact him saying “And I’m telling you that the judiciary under my watch, by God’s grace, would be better and the issues of all these kinds of 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….; we have done’. Be sure that you are quite in possession of your facts you will be able to establish when we ask you to establish your allegation and we will deal with it.”