The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, has claimed President Muhammadu Buhari and his agents, including the justice minister Abubakar Malami, the SSS, and the police, respect the judiciary and do not interfere with court matters.
Mr Buhari echoed the Supreme Court justice’s words, insisting that he and his regime respect the judiciary within the boundaries laid out in the constitution to strengthen Nigeria’s democracy.
On Thursday evening, Messrs Buhari and Muhammad stated this at the Iftar dinner the former hosted for the leadership of the nation’s judiciary at the end of the daily fasting, said his media aide Garba Shehu in a statement.
“I assure you that I have tremendous respect for the judiciary,” said Mr Buhari.
According to him, order and discipline in society can only be established when the law applies to all, irrespective of position or status.
He added that he was satisfied with the court’s adherence to due process.
“I try to keep my distance from you to avoid the perception of interference,” he claimed though agents of his regime have repeatedly flouted court orders and infringed on the rights of the regime’s opponents.
The Chief Justice of the Federation, Tanko Muhammad, agreed with Mr Buhari’s claim of not interfering with judicial matters.
“In all your years in office, at no time, no moment did Mr President, or any other person from you attempt to talk or ask for favours from the courts. We can recall no such attempt by you or anyone on your behalf has been made to interfere with judicial decisions,” claimed Mr Muhammad.
He added, “This is a mark of your maturity and sagacity. I am convinced that as you do with the judiciary, so is the case with ministries and other agencies of government. With leaders like you who do not interfere with judicial decisions, the country can rest assured that all is well.”
Muhammad assured the president that justices of the Supreme Court and judges across the court system are doing their best in handling cases before them.
“We try not to delay. No case whatsoever is unduly delayed, and all are delivered within the times allotted by the constitution,” added the Supreme Court head. “We are satisfied that we are discharging our responsibilities the way the constitution wants them to be done.”