Group condemns corruption allegations against FCT Chief Judge
The Umbrella body of bloggers under the auspices of Bloggers and Vloggers, Content Creators Association (BAVCCA), Saturday, refuted corruption allegations leveled against the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Husseini Baba-Yusuf, as junks of lies and cheap blackmail by faceless bloggers.
This was contained in an address presented by the National President of BAVCCA, Ikechukwu Chukwunyere, during a press conference, where the records were put straight on the heels of allegations of corruption against Justice Baba-Yusuf based on the in-depth findings of the Association.
Chukwunyere said: “RE: FCT judges accuse chief justice (sic) of stealing of multi-billion Naira allowances, leaving them vulnerable to bribe traffickers”:
It is quite baffling to note that a publication that was touted to have been made, according to the publisher, after various “discreet interviews conducted over seven weeks”, allegedly with 5 judges, turns out to be a potpourri of lies, exhibition of crass ignorance, and monumental fabrication of falsehood that can only fit into folktales like Tales by Moonlight.
“On the allegation that court is run like the private estate of the Chief Judge: The Office of the Chief Judge in relation to other Judges of the Court is that of first among equals. My Lord, Honourable Justice Hussaini Baba Yusuf is very much aware of this, and therefore has always maintained a very cordial relationship borne out of mutual respect for his brother Judges.
“In the discharge of his duties, he has always been very fair to his brother Judges. He has always ensured that they all are given their dues, entitlements, rights, and privileges as and when due, devoid of any segregation in whatever shape or form.
“His brother Judges have, both in the open and in private meetings, expressed their satisfaction with the way he relates with them, carrying them along in his efforts at improving justice delivery in the FCT. No judge has been a better privilege than the other.
“They all, at various times, have always attended trainings, seminars, and conferences due to them within the court’s financial strength.
“However, when the occasion so demands, some Judges of this Court are nominated, not by the Chief Judge, but by either the National Judicial Council (NJC), or National Judicial Institute (NJI) or some foreign organisations for some conferences or trainings, within or outside the country.
“On such occasions, the only option is for the Chief Judge to facilitate such travels. On such occasions, it will be preposterous to accuse the Chief Judge of favouritism in any way, having not nominated them in the first place.
“Also, the Chief Judge has done all that is within his power to insulate his brother Judges from several petitions, all in an attempt to afford them the requisite conducive environment, devoid of harassment, to do their jobs.
“At times, even where it is very obvious that some of them had acted less than honourable at some occasions, but considering the distractions of making them go through the tedious process attendant with such issues, the Chief Judge had always personally intervened to assuage the parties concerned.
“It equally important to state that where very serious allegations are made against his brother Judges, or where such petitions are routed through the NJC, the Chief Judge has no option than to allow the process go through it’s normal cause. Apparently, this may leave a bitter taste in the mouth of some of these brother Judges who feel that he ought to ALWAYS insulate them from every manner of petition, irrespective of how grievous such petitions may be.
Chukwunyere said the bloggers would be uncovered.
“The Committee’s report came back in the negative saying that Chief Judge Husseini Baba-Yusuf was innocent of all the allegations.
“Our resolution: That As Bloggers and Vloggers Content Creators Association (BAVCCA), we have deemed it fit to debunk claims against the Chief Judge Husseini Baba-Yusuf, over alleged corruption and personnel grievances that posses far-reaching implications for the administration of justice in the nation’s seat of power which are not true as they make Nigerians to believe a lie.
“That ordinarily BAVCCA would not have responded to this allegations considering the fact that the allegations are not only false and baseless but the said allegations were levelled by faceless criminals who only embarked on this mission for political purposes and cheap blackmail.
“That we have carefully gone through the articles and discovered that no name was mentioned as the source of their information, no Judge was also mentioned as their source and no evidence was even adduced to substantiate the said allegations.
“That BAVCCA as the umbrella body of all Bloggers, Vloggers and Content Creators frown at the fact that members of our body should be used as tools in the hands of cheap blackmailers who thrive in peddling unsubstantiated information in the media. Bloggers who allow themselves as agents of these false news shall be penalised.
“That from our independent investigations and findings, we observed with keen interest that the stories and reports put out there are all tissues of lies and baseless.
“That the allegation against Honourable Justice Baba-Yusuf milking Judges’ meagre allowances, leaving their courtrooms without support personnel, equipment and luring them to bribe, is untrue as he remains committed to prioritizing the welfare of Judges in Abuja.
“That It is unfortunate, some of these publications were hurriedly put together and some news media ran with them without doing due diligence through investigation to verify and balance their reportage.
“We want to make it clear that these allegations against Chief Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf have never been verified and authenticated anywhere and anytime; rather they are deliberately cooked up by some unscrupulous elements who do not mean well for our judiciary.
“We therefore, call on Nigerians to discard this cheap blackmail from persons who are out to defame the Chief Judge of FCT, who has positively transformed the judiciary and repositioned it for high productivity.
“That Honourable Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf is a go-getter, who has transformed the image and the integrity of the Judiciary, therefore, he has attracted local and international recognitions and awards.
“That it is on record that nobody has written any petition against Chief Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf to the National Judicial Council since 1998 when he was appointed as a Judge in Federal Capital Territory High Court. Hence, he is committed to making adjudication of Justice pure and unadulterated.
“That he has been able, through his proactive and pragmatic steps to improve the sanity and independence of the judiciary.
“That members of the Bench, Bar and Judiciary staffs have showered encomium on his sterling performance since he took over the helm of affairs of the Judiciary in the FCT.
“That a disciplinary committee has been set up to investigate erring members and appropriate punishment.
“That BAVCCA assures Nigerians that we will continue to uphold the true tenets of Journalism, we also assure them of our impartiality in the delivery of duties to the Nigerian public,” the statement said.