Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Malam Abubakar Malami (SAN) has petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Mahmud Mohammed, over alleged corrupt deals brought against a Federal High Court Judge- Justice Muhammed Nasir Yunasa.
The AGF seeks disciplinary action against the indicted judge, who is the chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC).
A similar petition by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in the Office of the AGF was also sent to the Inspector General of Police to investigate the criminal aspect of the allegation.
In the petition, Justice Muhammed Nasir Yunasa was alleged to have issued two conflicting and contradictory orders on July 4, 2014 in a suit No. FHC/L/CS/ 1042/2013.
In a well-considered ruling, the embattled Judge dismissed the notice of preliminary objection and held that the Court has no jurisdiction to hear and determine the suit but in a subsequent order made on the same day, the same judge gave a conflicting order.
It was alleged that the erring judge breached Rule 1 paragraph of the Code of Conduct of Judicial Officers and also that his conduct has infringed Sections 464 and 465 of the Criminal Code of Lagos State.
Apart from the petitions from the AGF, it was gathered that there has been consistent telephone conversations between the embattled judge and a senior lawyer Rickey Tarfa SAN.
Mr. Tarfa was arrested last Friday by the EFCC for obstruction of justice when he allegedly shielded anti-corruption police from arresting his client Granhoue Sourou Nazaire.
Mr. Nazaire had been Mr. Tarfa’s client since around May 2015 when he instituted the legal suit against Mrs. Rachidatou Abdou over ownership and control of a company of which they were both the directors.
Mrs. Abdou on September 7th, 2015 petitioned the Commissioner of Police saying that she believed that Mr. Tarfa was colluding with the trial Judge-Justice Mohammed Yunusa.
Part of Mrs. Abdou’s petition reads “before and after the filing of the suit the Applicant’s lawyer, Mr. Ricky Tarfa SAN, and the judge, the Honorable Justice Yunusa were communicating with each other on the phone in order to pervert the course of justice.”
In response to her complaint, the CJN sent a memo to Mr. Yunusa over his alleged misconduct. The memo was sent through the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, demanding an explanation to Mrs. Abdou’s allegations against him. Mr. Yunusa was given two weeks to respond to the allegations.