Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP has despatched seven queries to Justice Mahmud Mohammed, the Chief Justice of Nigeria over the alleged visit of Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transport to Justice Inyang Okoro.
Amaechi has vehemently denied the visit and threatened to sue the judge.
But SERAP in an open letter to Justice Mohammed, who is the Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC) seeks explanations on what “he and the NJC knew or had reason to know regarding the report to them on 1st February, 2016 by Justice John Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court of Nigeria about the alleged visit.
Okoro had alleged that Amaechi visited him at his official residence to discuss election Appeals in respect of Rivers State, Akwa Ibom State and Abia State.”
Okoro also claimed he told the Chief Justice about the visit of Mr. Umana Umana, the APC governorship candidate to his residence to allegedly make the same request of assistance to win the appeal at the Supreme Court.”
SERAP’s letter to the NJC chairman, which was signed by its executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni states that, “We consider these allegations as constituting a serious threat to the independence, impartiality and accountability of the judiciary, and should in the ordinary course of duties, have prompted action from your Lordship and the NJC to wit: undertaking prompt, thorough and transparent investigations, and where there is prima-facie evidence of political interference in the judicial system, to report the matter to the appropriate anti-corruption commissions and agencies for further investigation and possible prosecution.”