Senate Grills Musdapher


The Senate this morning grilled the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher as part of his recommendation to head the judiciary.

The screening and confirmation followed an earlier nomination by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The new CJN was ushered into the Senate at about 11.21 a.m .following the suspension of the relevant order of the Senate.

Musdapher answered questions on the integrity of the judiciary, the controversial appointment of non-performing judges, the criticism surrounding the suspension of the President of the Court of Appeal by both the CJN and the president as well as issue of capital punishment for corruption and other criminal activities. The CJN responded, saying the issue of low public perception of the judiciary in recent times could be blamed on the society itself.

He maintained that “the new public perception of the judiciary cannot be divulged from the downturn in the society at large.

“Judges cannot be separated from the society they live in.”

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Musdapher blamed the integrity problem of the judiciary on the flurry of political and election cases in recent times.

He maintained that in every case one party has to win and the other has to lose. But the loser in most times will never see anything right with the justice system.

While maintaining that the problem may not be as bad as perceived by the public, Musdapher reiterated his commitment and vision to carry out reforms that will help to salvage the situation and ensure a better judiciary. While relying on the advice by the Senate President that there should be caution in making statement on the suspension of Justice Salami, Musdapher stated that it will be inappropriate for him to comment on an issue that is already before a court of law.

Senator Victor Udoma Egba had sought to know from the CJN if President Jonathan and the NJC did not err in suspending the former President of the court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami. After responding to other questions during the screening that lasted 56 minutes, the new CJN was asked to take a bow and go.

—Desmond Utowem/Abuja

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