Acting CJN may resign over age falsification


JUSTICE Tanko Muhammad, acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, may be forced to resign his position over allegation of age falsification.

Mohammad, who took over from Justice Walter Onnoghen, who was suspended in controversial circumstances in January, may be shoved out of the bench on the strength of the application before the Federal Capital Territory High Court by Tochi Michael, a 46-year-old businessman, over alleged age falsification.

Michael alleged in a suit FCT/HC/BW/CV/79/2019, that the acting CJN deliberately falsified his date of birth from December 31, 1950 as contained in all his official records, including that of WAEC, to December 31, 1953 upon his appointment as a judicial officer.

In the suit coming through an originating summons, Michael is praying the court to determine whether such act by the acting CJN did not constitute a criminal act of perjury, falsification and forgery.

He also asked the court to determine whether by falsifying his date of birth upon being appointed to the Nigerian Bench as a judicial officer, he, Mohammad, had not breached the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He wants the court to determine in addition whether Mohammad had not breached the Code of Conduct for judicial officers and consequently brought the image of the Nigerian judiciary to disrepute and odium.

If so, Michael wants the court to declare that Mohammad actually falsified his date of birth and having done so, desecrated the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He therefore prayed for an order directing the Inspector-General of Police to prosecute the acting CJN for the offence of perjury and any other offence which the court may deem fit.

However, the court was informed during the hearing that the petitioner failed to appear in court on Tuesday, when the proceedings began and was not represented by his counsel, which made the lawyer to the acting CJN, Sam Ologunorisa, SAN, to suggest that they were on the run after abandoning the suit.

“We filed a notice of preliminary objection, a counter-affidavit and a written address. We urge the court to deem it fit that the originating summons has been argued. We have to look at Exhibit III of the originating summons. We urge the court to dismiss the suit. The case is meant to scandalise the CJN,” he said.

While adjourning to Friday, Justice Danlami Senchi said another opportunity would be given to the petitioner to appear in court to prove the allegation.

– May 23, 2019 @ 12:25 GMT |

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