Investigations have also revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari may have queried two of his ministers – Rotimi Amaechi and Ogbonnaya Onu – over allegations that they tried to influence the outcome of Supreme Court rulings on the election appeals for Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Abia, Ebonyi and Ekiti States.
Presidency sources revealed that during the CJN’s meeting with Buhari last month on the arrest of seven judges by the Department of State Security (DSS), Justice Mohammed reportedly orally informed the president of the attempt to induce the judges.
He told Buhari that his ministers, among others, alleged that they were acting on the instruction of the president.
Justices Inyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court were two of the seven justices who were arrested by the DSS.
However, after they were granted bail, the two Supreme Court judges, in separate letters to the CJN, blamed their arrests on their refusal to yield to demands by Amaechi, Onu and other APC chieftains to give favourable judgments to the governorship candidates of the ruling party in the five states.
Following the revelation, Buhari was reported to have informed Justice Mohammed that he had nothing to do with the allegations, but asked the CJN to put it in writing.
On receiving the CJN’s letter against his ministers, Buhari, a source confirmed, queried Amaechi and Onu to respond to the weighty allegations.
The president’s position was in line with a statement issued by the presidency on October 30, when it advised journalists and other Nigerians to stop linking Buhari to the legal travails of the arrested judges in the country.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, had said Buhari would be the last person to authorise anybody to induce a judge to pervert the course of justice.
However, the CJN’s decision to report the affected ministers to the president has not gone down well with them, as they are now hell bent on extracting their pound of flesh from the judiciary and the Supreme Court for daring to report them to their boss.
It was learnt that the desire to exact revenge informed the filing of the charges against the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court Gambo Saleh by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice.