Nigeria’s apex court, the Supreme Court is embroiled in a crisis of confidence between its justices and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko who has been frontally accused of ineffective leadership of the third arm of government. In a letter on Monday entitled “The State of Affairs in the Supreme Court of Nigeria
Nigeria’s apex court, the Supreme Court is embroiled in a crisis of confidence between its justices and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko who has been frontally accused of ineffective leadership of the third arm of government.
In a letter on Monday entitled “The State of Affairs in the Supreme Court of Nigeria and Demand by Justices of the Supreme Court” purportedly written by the 14 Justices of the Supreme Court, they raised issues that may negatively impede their functions such as Justices accommodation, vehicles, electricity tariff, supply of diesel, lack of internet services to their residences and chambers, and epileptic electricity supply to the Court.
They also allege the failure of the Honourable Chief Justice to carry Justices along in managing the affairs of the Court, the deteriorating condition of services generally and the state of the litigation department.
A copy of the letter as published on the website of The Nigerian Lawyer shows that the Justices allege that some new Justices are yet to receive their full complement of vehicles; those that are due for replacement have not been replaced while vehicles supplied to are either refurbished or substandard while the Chief Justice has not taken steps to address the issues.
The Justices also raised the issue of training and participation at foreign workshops which they alleged have been denied many of them and wondered if the funds meant for this have been diverted.
“We find it strange that in spite of the upward review of our budgetary allocation, the Court cannot cater for our legitimate entitlements” the letter reads.
“The Justices reiterated the fact that they are serving this country diligently and to the best of their ability and as such deserves the best compared to how they are being treated by the present CJN,”.
“The Justices reminded the CJN of the facts that they resolve disputes between the Executive and the Legislature including all manner of disagreements, between governments and individuals and how it would be a tragedy if the Nigerian public were to know that they are unable to resolve their own problems internally without going public due to neglect and lack of taking to corrections by the CJN.
“The Justices demanded that the CJN act before it is too late as all efforts in the past to resolve their complaints have yielded no result. The Justices recall that the CJN reluctantly called a Justices’ meeting on the 23rd day of March 2022 after several persistent requests to hold the meeting.
The Justices recalled that at their meeting of the 23rd day of March 2022 they tabled and discussed their demands on:
I. Justices accommodation,
III. Electricity tariff,
1V. Supply of diesel,
V. Internet services to justices’ residences and chambers,
VI. Epileptic electricity supply to the Court.
The letter is published below:LETTER TO CJN & NJC