Interference: NBA urges IGP, ICPC to investigate, Prosecute Sen Bulkachuwa
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has demanded a thorough investigation and subsequent prosecution of Senator Ahmad Muhammad Bulkachuwa by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The NBA accuses the senator of interfering with the judiciary, following his recent admission that his wife, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, had extended help to politicians during her tenure as President of the Court of Appeal.
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) issued a statement on Wednesday, calling on the IGP and the Chairman of ICPC to immediately summon Senator Ahmad Muhammad Bulkachuwa for questioning and take necessary legal action against him.
The NBA president, Yakubu Maikyau, emphasized that the senator’s public admission of his wife’s involvement in extending help to politicians during her tenure as President of the Court of Appeal warrants a thorough investigation and potential prosecution.
In the statement, the NBA expressed deep concern over the negative impact of Bulkachuwa’s actions on the integrity and independence of the judiciary.
The association reiterated its unwavering commitment to defending the integrity of the judiciary and stated that it would not hesitate to take on anyone, regardless of their professional background, who undermines judicial independence or makes statements that jeopardize the impartiality of judicial processes.
During the 102nd meeting of the National Judicial Council (NJC) on the same day, NBA President Maikyau formally raised the issue of Senator Bulkachuwa’s conduct, describing it as “disgusting and despicable” and a direct assault on the judiciary’s integrity.
The NJC condemned the senator’s actions in the strongest terms, considering them an affront to the independence of the judiciary. Maikyau reassured the council that the NBA would vigorously defend the honor, integrity, and independence of the judiciary and hold accountable anyone who undermines these principle
Given the gravity of the situation, the NBA president urged the IGP and the Chairman of ICPC to promptly invite Senator Bulkachuwa for interrogation and subsequent legal proceedings. Maikyau confirmed that he would personally write letters to both authorities to expedite the investigation into the alleged judicial interference.
The NBA’s call for a thorough investigation and potential prosecution of Senator Bulkachuwa emphasizes the association’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding the integrity and independence of Nigeria’s judiciary. The demands made by the NBA highlight the importance of upholding the rule of law and ensuring justice for all.
Find below the full statement of the NBA President:
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION, MR YAKUBU CHONOKO MAIKYAU, OON, SAN, ON THE COMMENTS BY SENATOR ADAMU MUHAMMAD BULKACHUWA ON THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE ON MONDAY, 12 JUNE 2023
14 June 2023
My attention was drawn to a viral video clip on the social media, of the comments made by Senator Adamu Muhammad Bulkachuwa on the floor of the Senate on Monday, 12 June 2023, at the valedictory session of the Senate of the 9th Assembly, before he was interrupted and stopped by the then Senate President Ahmed Lawan. Senator Bulkachuwa, in his remarks, amongst other things, referred to “confidential dealings” he had had with some of his colleagues in the Senate, and went on to say:
“I look at faces in this chamber whom have come to me and sought for my help when my wife was the President of the Court of Appeal, and I’m sure… In his concluding remarks, he said:
And I must thank particularly, my wife, whose freedom and independence I encroached upon while she was in office, and she has been very tolerant and accepted my encroachment, and extended her help to my colleagues…”
All these were amidst several interjections by the Senate President. Probably, if the Senate President had not interrupted Senator Bulkachuwa, he would have made more vital/useful revelations that would have provided specific details of the “confidential dealings of one sort or the other” he allegedly had with some of his colleagues in which according to him, “I did my best and in most cases I succeeded”. Notwithstanding however, given the office held by his wife which he clearly mentioned in his remarks, no one would be left in doubt as to the sort of help he either succeeded or did not succeed in securing for his colleagues, with whom he had since become good friends and still remain good friends. These colleagues, according to him, only “thanked me for what I have done with words of mouth, that was all.”
The statements were clearly admissions by the Senator, that he did attempt to, and/or actually perverted the course of justice/interfered with due administration of justice, which makes him liable to be investigated and prosecuted even on his admission. That this came with a huge negative impact on the integrity and the independence of the Judiciary can only be an understatement.
At the 102nd meeting of the National Judicial Council (NJC) held today, 14 June 2023, I took the liberty of my membership of the Council to complain about the rather disgusting and despicable conduct of Senator Bulkachuwa, which was a direct attack on the integrity of the Judiciary. The NJC condemned the actions of the Senator in the strongest terms as an affront on the integrity and independence of the Judiciary. I made it clear to the Council that, while the NBA will at all times rise to the defence of the honour, integrity and independence of the judiciary, we shall not hesitate to take on anyone, either within or outside the legal
profession, who takes steps or makes statements that are capable of undermining the independence of the judiciary and the impartiality judicial processes.
It is in this regard that I call on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), to immediately invite Senator Ahmad Muhammad Bulkachuwa for interrogation and proceed to prosecute him accordingly. I shall write a letter to both the IGP and the ICPC Chairman in this respect.
We reiterate our commitment to the maintenance and defence of the integrity and independence of the Judiciary in Nigeria, within the bounds of the law, irrespective of the personalities involved.
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