23rd September, 2022
ADDRESS PETITION AGAINST PROSPECTIVE HIGH COURT JUDGE : MURIC TELLS CJN
An Islamic human rights advocacy group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, to address a petition written against a prospective judge of the high court in Niger State. MURIC is demanding a swift consideration of the petition to determine whether or not it has merit.
MURIC spoke through its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Friday, 23rd September, 2022.
The statement reads:
“A petition dated 17th March, 2022 and signed by one Ibrahim Shehu, a Nigerian citizen, against a prospective high court judge of Niger State, was submitted to the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and chairman National Judicial Council (NJC).
“Although the petition was stamped received at exactly 10.46 am on 18th March, 2022 in the office of the CJN while at least two reminders have been submitted on 5th and 25th July, 2022, nothing has been heard by the petitioner since then.
“According to Ibrahim Shehu, the petitioner, the applicant claimed to have been born on 4th April 1964 but he was actually born on 4th April, 1962 based on what he submitted to the Nigeria Law School. The petitioner further revealed that the high court judge applicant was called to bar on 24th January 1998.
“He argued that the inconsistency in the applicant’s documents has been responsible for his inability to tender his exemption certificate to his present employers. This, according to him, constitutes a clear violation of Section 3(D) 030301 and Section 4 (A) 030402 of the Federal Government of Nigeria Civil Service Rules and RULE FOUR (H) of the National Judicial Council Procedural Rules for Appointment of Judges in Nigeria. The petitioner therefore requested the NJC to thoroughly investigate the applicant and act accordingly.
“MURIC is of the strong opinion that those who dispense justice must be men and women of untainted integrity and high discipline. The high court is a hallowed chamber and only those who have credible pedigree must be allowed to sit in judgement there.
“If those who come to equity must come with clean hands, so must those who administer it. The judiciary is the last hope of the hoi polloi. That hope will become unending frustration if people of questionable character are allowed to sit on matters affecting the destiny of the citizenry. It is such judges who put up justice for sale in the hallowed chamber.
“Having provided substantial proof of impropriety in the applicant’s documents, we are of the strong opinion that the highly respected NJC should look at the merit or demerit of the petition and act swiftly and honourably. We must not wait until the black sheep smear the good name of the judiciary before weeding them out. NJC has a responsibility to ensure that no black sheep is allowed to join the judiciary.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)