CJN Queries Outgoing FCT Chief Judge Over Revelations In El-Rufai’s Book

elrufaiThe Chief Justice of Nigeria, Aloma Mukhtar, has issued a query to outgoing Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory – Justice Lawal Gumi, seeking explanations over an annual grant made to the FCT judiciary by the FCT administration during the administration of Malam Nasir el-Rufai.

El-Rufai had said in his recently published memoir, The Accidental Public Servant that his administration decided to budget an annual grant to help the FCT judicial system to make some procurement.

“…We also decided to budget an annual grant to support our judiciary to procure court recording and automation equipment…,” Mr. El Rufai wrote in his book.

Following that revelation, a coalition of over a hundred and fifty anti-corruption organisations, under the aegis of the Civil Society Network Against Corruption, CSNAC, want the Chief Justice to probe the use of the said budget and its legality.

In a petition signed by its coordinator, Olarenwaju Suraj, CSNAC made a case that the outcome of the investigation be made public as a way of enhancing the respect and integrity of the judiciary.

“We are aware of these grants/ allocations were outside the FCT budget. We are therefore, by this petition demanding that the National Judicial Council ( NJC) undertake a thorough investigation into these allocations, their legality and use; and make public the outcome(S) of the investigation to guarantee the respect for and the integrity of the judiciary.

“This demand is in line with other investigations of the NJC, under your leadership, to sanitize and reposition the judiciary,” CSNAC said.

In response to the petition, the CJN asked Justice Gumi to explain the details of the budgetary allocation. In the query dated May 6, 2013, Justice Mukhtar demanded to know the details of the said annual grants.

“I forward herewith a petition dated 2nd April, 201 against you by one Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, Chairman of Civil Society Network Against Corruption on the above subject matter. The petition is self- explanatory. I shall be glad to have your comments within three week from the date of receipt of this letter, please,” said Justice Muhktar.

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