Apparently to stave off pressure over electoral disputes, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmood Mohammed, has banned politicians from his residence.
His security detail from the Department of State Service (DSS) and police orderly will henceforth be part of any interaction with Politically Exposed Lawyers seeking audience with him.
The CJN has since refused to accede to requests for courtesy calls by governors and legislators with outstanding petitions against them at election tribunals or with court cases generally
The CJN put these measures in place following subtle moves by some petitioners to drag the Judiciary into politics, it was learnt.
The CJN and justices of the Supreme Court were reportedly touched by the row generated by Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike’s visit to the CJN’s office in Abuja.
Although the governor did not meet the CJN, his visit almost created a political backlash for the Judiciary.
A source, who pleaded not to be named, said the CJN warned his aides and household members not to allow politicians access to him.
The source said: “Except for his fellow judicial officers, relations and friends, the CJN has banned politicians from visiting his residence. He has limited all transactions or relationship to his office.
“The CJN has also made it a policy to invite a member of the security operatives or aides in his office to henceforth be part of any interaction with Politically-Exposed Lawyers seeking audience with him.
“Once any lawyer is suspected to have come to solicit favour, security agents will now be called upon to witness such an audience.”
It was learnt that the CJN has decided to limit courtesy visits by public officials.
“The new guidelines take immediate effect. The position of the CJN remains the same that the Judiciary must be insulated from politics.
“As a matter of fact, what the public did not know is that the CJN deliberately avoided meeting with Governor Nyesom Wike to avoid dragging the Judiciary into the murky waters of politics.”
The CJN has also advised judges to stay away from politicians to be able to discharge their duties without fear or favour.