The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, has revealed that Supreme Court judges are only answerable to God Almighty.
The Director, Press and Information of the Supreme Court, Dr Festus Akande, quoted the acting CJN as saying in a statement on Thursday that no human being — living or dead — could influence the judgments of the Supreme Court.
Akande had, on April 29, 2019, made similar assertion in a statement dismissing a news report which attributed the exit of the former CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, to the influence of President Muhammadu Buhari on the administrative decision of the Supreme Court and its management.
He re-stated the independence of the Supreme Court and its justices in a statement quoting the acting the CJN as speaking to the management of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria led on a courtesy visit to his office by the corporation’s chairman, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN), on Thursday.
According to Akande, Justice Muhammad said the Supreme Court Justices were independent-minded and were only answerable to their conscience and God while writing and delivering judgments.
He said “We take our time in taking notes and writing judgments to avoid making mistakes.
“We subject every case before us to intense debates and arguments during our conferences in order to be as dispassionate and objective as possible.
“Let me state clearly that we are not answerable to anybody and can never be intimidated by anybody whatsoever in taking our decisions.
“But for certain, we are only answerable to God Almighty because he is the owner of our lives. No human being, living or dead, can influence the reasoning or judgments of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
“We are very independent in Supreme Court because of the enormity of the trust and responsibility reposed in us by the almighty God, the Constitution and our dear nation.”