Shehu Sani: HURIWA blasts CJN Tanko Muhammad over hasty verdict

Posted by News Express | 7 January 2020 | 1,086 times

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•CJN Muhammad Tanko

A civil rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has faulted the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Muhammad Tanko, “for the haste with which he dabbled into the swirling allegations made by the Kaduna businessman, Alhaji Sani Dauda, of ASD Motors against the immediate past Senator who represented Kaduna Central Senatorial District in the 8th Session of the National Assembly, Senator Shehu Sani.”

It said the unnecessary interjection, through the media space, by the jurist in a matter that at best is still at the level of unproven allegations made by only one man does not dignify the high office that he (Tanko Muhammad) currently holds.

HURIWA said in a statement on Monday by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs, Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, that the media statement alleging and describing Senator Sani as “a liar” as reportedly attributed to the CJN amounted to an attempt from the backyard to confer credibility to these sets of contested accusations against the Kaduna-born activist made by Alhaji Dauda.

The rights group noted that the allegations have been strenuously and vigourously denied and are been contested by the accused who, indeed, in the eyes of the law is absolutely innocent until a contrary determination is reached by a competent court of law.

While accusing the Chief Justice of joining the bandwagon of lynch mob justice choristers, HURIWA said Justice Tanko was totally wrong to have jumped into the media arena at this point in time when the matter was only at an elementary stage of Investigations.

The rights group regretted that his position as the head of the nation's judiciary would have afforded him the discretion to have known that his statement against a citizen of Nigeria being accused of unproven allegations is harmful and illegal because he (the accused) should be granted fair hearing in accordance with section 36(1) of the Nigerian Constitution.

“The media statements authorised by the Chief Justice of Nigeria against Senator Shehu Sani was done in bad faith and may adversely affect the exercise of his constitutionally guaranteed freedoms enshrined in the constitution with specific reference to fairness of the judicial process that may be activated if the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) finds merits in the allegations made against Senator Sani. 

“The CJN should have waited until his own side of the story is requested privately by the investigators which he could still do without media grandstanding,” HURIWA stated.

The rights group declared that the statement by the Chief Justice was hasty and ill-timed and could be misconstrued as another angle of the larger conspiracy to rope in the vocal critic of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“These weighty statements by the CJN has added salt to injury against one of the parties in the legal cum possible criminal trial. This is now a conundrum. Honestly, silence (would have been) golden by the Chief Justice. This is because the way it is now, with some media houses giving these statements different interpretative meanings, the accused person is guilty even before he has had any opportunity to explain his own side of the story to a competent court of law.

“Those who hold the sacred task of being custodians and ministers in the temple of justice should not be seen doing things or saying things that cast aspersions on the integrity and independence of the Judiciary,” HURIWA stated.

 


Source: News Express

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