From Godwin Tsa Abuja
There is controversy over the health status of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad who is presently in the United Arab Emirates.
While a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, yesterday, disclosed that the CJN has tested positive for COVID-19, a spokesperson of the Supreme Court, Dr. Festus Akande, dismissed the report as untrue.
The CJN was absent on Monday, at the swearing-in of the 72 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) which also marked the 2020/3021 new legal year of the apex court.
He was represented by Justice Bode Rhodes Vivour, who presided over the ceremony as the most senior Justice on the bench.
Justice Ibrahim Saulawa disclosed the COVID-19 status of the CJN yesterday, at the unveiling of the national headquarters of the Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria (MULAN), in Abuja.
However, a statement by the Director of Press and Information, Supreme Court, Dr Festus Akande, dismissed reports surrounding the health of the CJN as untrue.
Akande, who was specifically reacting to a story by a national daily (not Daily Sun) with the headline “Re-Anxiety over CJN’s Health, misses SAN’s Inauguration” described it as sheer falsehood.
In furtherance to the above statement, Akande specifically stated that “there is no medical report, so far, made available by anybody, indicating that the CJN has tested positive for Coronavirus. Those peddling the rumour should go a step further to confirm from their sources and equally obtain the copy of whatever laboratory test result they are relying on.
“As of this moment of issuing this statement, no one has, so far, shown me or any other person in Supreme Court a copy of the test result they are referring to in the report.
His earlier statement reads: “It’s necessary to state that there’s no iota of truth in the claim being peddled by the publication, as there hasn’t been any indication made public or otherwise, that has shown any anxiety over the CJN’s health.
“The Hon. CJN, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, being unavoidably absent at a function is not enough to plunge into this premeditated conclusion that there’s now “anxiety over his health.”