Tuesday, April 5, 2016 9:38 am
Justice Muhammed Yunusa of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division, has been queried by the National Judicial Council, with his 14 day leeway to respond expiring this week.
Yunusa is at the centre of allegations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that he has been a recipient of gratifications from the Lagos senior lawyer, Rickey Tarfa, a senior advocate.
The query to Yunusa was spurred by a petition from the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Mahmud Mohammed. The petition seeks sanctions against the judge following his issuance of two conflicting and contradictory orders on July 4, 2014 in a suit No. FHC/L/CS/ 1042/2013.
In a letter dated March 16, 2016, signed by the CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, Justice Yunusa was given 14 days to submit his response to allegations of judicial abuse, compromise and misconduct levelled against him by a non-governmental organization – the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC).
The query was sent to the judge through Justice Ibrahim Auta, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
“I forward herewith a petition dated 21st December, 2015 against you by Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, Chairman, Civil Society Network Against Corruption, on the above subject matter,” Chief Justice Mohammed wrote.
“The petition speaks for itself. I shall be glad to have your comments within 14 days from the date of your receipt of this letter, please”.
CSNAC had in a petition dated December 15, 2015, accused the judge of consistent refusal to abide by judicial precedents laid down by superior courts in granting orders and injunctions against the EFCC.
According to CSNAC, the actions of Justice Yinusa were serving as “leeway for unscrupulous and corrupt individuals who will stop at nothing to truncate their arrest, investigation and prosecution by the appropriate law enforcement agencies, to render our criminal law ineffective, as well as allowing corruption fester in the society.”
The organisation said, the grant of the orders of mandatory and perpetual injunctions by Justice Yunusa against the EFCC was a grave departure from the established principles in the mentioned cases, as laid down by the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal which are binding on the Federal High Court, being a lower court.
The EFCC on February 18 arraigned Mr. Tarfa before a Lagos State High Court on a two-count charge of obstruction of justice and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
*Published originally by Daily Trust