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The ‎Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Mahmud Mohammed, has disclosed how the ‎Presidency, forced the Judicial arm of government, to suspend Judges accused of “Corruption”.
According to the CJN, the reason why the National Judicial Council, NJC,  directed Judges under probe for criminal allegations to stop sitting, pending when their innocence is established, was due to the fact that it ‎chose not to interfere with the ‎Attorney-General of the Federation’s, ‎AGF, exercise of his statutory powers to prosecute.
The development is coming at a time, when the Executive arm of government has severally called on the Judiciary, to suspend those accused of corruption, of which the NJC, had earlier noted that they will not take such decision, over mere allegations.
The ‎CJN, who is the Chairman of NJC, explained that the Council’s decision, was informed by the insistence of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, on prosecuting the Judges arrested by the Department of State Services, DSS.
‎Based on Justice Mohammed‎’s submission, who is due for retirement on Thursday this week, ‎the Judiciary, being a responsible arm of the government, chose not to interfere with the AGF’s exercise of his statutory powers to prosecute.
Speaking on Monday, while swearing-in Amina Augie, and Ejembi Eko, as Justices of the Supreme Court, the CJN reiterated the fact that the Judiciary was mindful of the powers ascribed to each organ of the state, under a constitutional democracy.

He said the Judiciary was resolute in upholding its independence, by adjudicating with utmost fairness, and justice, as prescribed by the constitution and the law.
The CJ said, “A common thread that runs through all Judiciaries, is that Judicial Officers are traditionally accorded the highest dignity and respect, by all.
“This is because justice is rooted in confidence, and where confidence in our Judges is undermined, and independence eroded, it is the nation that ultimately suffers most, while true democracy is fatally undermined.
‎“Certainly, the decision of the National Judicial Council at its last meeting, reflects our desire to preserve this independence.
“Hence, we proclaimed to the world that any Judicial Officer that is standing trial, will cease to perform judicial functions.
‎“The Council took this stand, following communications it received from the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, that he was embarking on the prosecution of the affected Judicial Officers, for the offences disclosed against them, from the evidence on the ground.
“We must not forget that we operate a constitutional democracy, which clearly prescribes the powers accorded to each organ of the state.
‎“I therefore, wish to state without fear of contradiction, that the third arm of government, will remain resolute in its commitment, and resolve to uphold its independence, and to adjudicate with utmost fairness and justice, as prescribed in our Constitution and law,” the Chief Justice said.

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