The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad has reacted to the petition brought against him by Justices of the Supreme Court over his handling of judiciary matters.
The CJN in his response said the matters pointed out are already receiving attention and members of the public should disregard any thought or feeling of hostility among the judges.
He added that the issues raised by the Supreme Court justices are not peculiar to the judiciary alone but are a reflection of happenings in the whole country.
Tanko submitted that bringing such issues to the public domain amounts to dancing naked in the market but since the memo written by his colleagues has already made its way to the public, he also decided to respond publicly.
The justices had in a leaked memo, among other things, stated that the budget allocated to the judiciary has not been increased in the past four years.
They revealed that they decided to write Justice Tanko in a bid to preserve the dignity of the Judiciary.
While stating that there was a failure to replace dilapidated vehicles, accommodation problems, poor healthcare services at the Supreme Court clinic and poor electricity supply to the Supreme Court, the justices express fears over a potential shutdown of the judiciary.
Responding in a statement on Tuesday by his Senior Special Assistant (Media), Ahuraka Yusuf Isah, CJN Tanko said all raised issues are receiving attention but everything can’t be resolved at once.
The statement titled “Re: State of affairs in the Supreme Court and demand by Justices of the Supreme Court”, reads: “The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammad, would wish to confirm receipt of letter written and addressed to him by his brother Justices of the Supreme Court bench.
“Judges in all climes are to be seen and not heard, and that informed why the CJN refrained from joining issues until a letter, said to be personal, is spreading across the length and breadth of the society. This was akin to dancing naked at the market square by us with the ripple effect of the said letter.
“The Supreme Court definitely does not exist outside its environment, it is also affected by the economic and socio-political climate prevailing in the country. Besides that, the apex court has to a larger extent, been living to its constitutional responsibility.
“When a budget is made, it contains two sides, that’s the recurrent and the capital, yet all the two are broken down into items. The Federal Government releases the budget based on the budget components. And it’s an offence to spend the money meant for one item for another.