Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Tanko Muhammad, has been asked to provide the certified copies of the Supreme Court’s financial accounts from January 1, 2019 to date or be prepared to be sued.
The request was made by a human rights lawyer, Malcolm Omirhobo & Co, in a letter stamped with the office of the CJN.
The lawyer requested the documents in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2011 to determine good governance and administration under his direction of the judiciary.
The letter reads in part:
“Based on the relevant sections of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, we humbly request certified copies of the following information in relation to public records in your custody;
“Proof of receipt of total funds disbursed to your lordship by the National Judicial Council as Chief Justice of Nigeria since you assumed office in 2019 to date.
“Evidence of the total expenditure of the Supreme Court for the period from January 1, 2019 to date, including the list of investment projects of the Supreme Court of Nigeria during this period,
“Proof of payment for each project mentioned above as well as the contractual agreement.
“The total amount realized from internally generated revenue during the requested period and proof of expenditure; payment slip for salaries of Supreme Court judges and non-judicial staff; and payment voucher for salaries and other emoluments judges of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and non-judicial staff.
“Note that in the event of delay or refusal to disclose the information within 7 days from the date of receipt of this request, we will be obliged to take the legal and necessary measures to compel you to disclose the information in accordance with the section 20 and other provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.”
The letter seen by our correspondent is another development following protests by about 14 Supreme Court justices on the verge of their deplorable working conditions.
But the CJN had disapproved of its brothers the judges for going public with their grievance, but maintained that it was doing its best within the limits of the resources given to the judiciary from the federation account in accordance with budget allocations.
Meanwhile, the Body of Benchers, which is the legal body of practitioners responsible for formally calling prospective lawyers to the bar as well as disciplining offending lawyers, decided to intervene in the crisis between the supreme justices.
Councilor Chairman Wole Olanipekun SAN further announced that a committee had been set up “to resolve” the issue.