The new Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, has been put on the spot on social media with several viral videos and posts claiming that he did not attend law school but was not called to bar.
Specifically, a video shared by the Facebook page “Maiyegun’s Diary Politico”, on January 28, carried a caption reading: “Buhari appointed a Sharia court judge who was never called to bar or attended law school as Chief Justice of Nigeria.”
According to CrossCheck Nigeria, an unidentified man seen in the video protesting President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of Muhammad on January 25, alleged that the acting CJN was “not even a lawyer” and “had not been called to bar.”
The video has been viewed more than 37,000 times and shared more than 2,400 times.
A Facebook page called “Hope For Nigeria” also posted the video which has been viewed more than 4,000 times.
The Nigerian Constitution (231) stipulates that a person must be called to bar before he or she can practice as a legal practitioner in Nigeria.
How true is this claim?
According to Muhammad’s profile on the websites of the Supreme Court and the National Judicial Council, he studied law at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria from 1976-1980 and then at the Nigerian Law School where he was called to bar in 1981.
Muhammad began his judicial career as a Magistrate in 1982 with the Bauchi state judiciary. He also served as a Khadi (Judge) of the Sharia Court of Appeal, Bauchi state from 1991-1993.
Provisions of the Nigerian Constitution (276) also state that a person is not qualified to hold office as a Khadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of a state unless he is a legal practitioner in Nigeria.
To further confirm the relevant constitutional provisions, CrossCheck Nigeria spoke with a former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, Barrister Monday Ubani concerning the claim.
He said: “A lawyer cannot become a magistrate if he or she wasn’t called to bar.”
The widely shared videos and posts claiming that the acting CJN Muhammad did not attend law school and was not called to bar are all false.
PAY ATTENTION: Download our mobile app to enjoy the latest news updates
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Wole Badmus, the coordinator of the Forum of Non-Governmental Organisation in Nigeria (FONGON), said that a corrupt judge could kill a healthy nation.
Badmus urged President Buhari not to relent in his anti-graft war.
Leading other local organisations in a protest in Abuja on Wednesday, January 30, Badmus said that they are in support of the programmes and policies of the President Buhari “especially on the bold step he (Buhari) took in suspending former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen”.
He said the groups, consisting of 200 non-governmental organisations, were in support of Buhari’s anti-corruption efforts.
NAIJ.com (naija.ng) -> Legit.ng: Same great journalism, upgraded for better service!
Onnoghen's Trial is Politically Motivated - APRJ | Legit TV