Court’s judgements can’t be influenced – Ag. CJN

Justice Tanko

Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria Tanko Muhammad has said no human being — living or dead — could influence Supreme Court’s judgements.

Director Press and Information of the Supreme Court Festus Akande quoted the acting CJN as saying this Thursday in a statement in Abuja.

The apex court’s spokesman had, April 29, 2019, made similar clarification following a media report that the exit of the former CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, was a result of the influence of President Muhammadu Buhari on the administrative decision of the court and its management.

Reiterating the position Thursday, Akande, in statement, quoted the acting CJN as saying this during a visit by the management of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, led by the corporation’s Chairman, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN).

With Justice Muhammad during the visit were Justices Olukayode Ariwoola, Kekere-Ekun, Musa Dattijo, Ejembi Eko and Uwani Abba-Aji.

The CJN said Supreme Court Justices were independent-minded and only answerable to their conscience and God while writing and delivering judgments.

He said: “We take our time in taking notes and writing judgments to avoid making mistakes. We subject every case before us to intense debates and arguments during our conferences in order to be as dispassionate and objective as possible.

“Let me state clearly that we are not answerable to anybody and can never be intimidated by anybody whatsoever in taking our decisions.

“But for certain, we are only answerable to God Almighty because he is the owner of our lives. No human being, living or dead can influence the reasoning or judgments of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“We are very independent in Supreme Court because of the enormity of the trust and responsibility reposed in us by the almighty God, the Constitution and our dear nation.”

Earlier in his address, AMCON Chairman Banire said the corporation, since its establishment in 2010, had acquired over 120,000 loans from 23 banks totaling N3.8trillion.

He added that additional N2.2trillion was paid as financial accommodation for the then ailing banks.

“The total current exposure, as of April 30, 2019, is N4.19 trillion, with an excess of 7,000 outstanding obligors,” he said.

Banire, however, said “top 350 obligors” account for 82 per cent of the outstanding loans of N4.19 trillion.

He said only the top 100 made up 67 per cent of the outstanding loan.

Banire told their hosts top 20 accounts with total current exposure of N1.71 trillion made 41 per cent of the N4.19trn total current exposure.

He said the corporation was contending with delay tactics often employed by the defaulters to frustrate the cases currently pending in various courts across the country.

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