Former FCT Minister, El-Rufai, had said in his book that he made payments to the FCT judiciary.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Aloma Mukhtar, has fired a query in the direction of Lawal Gunmi, the Chief Judge of Federal Capital Territory, seeking explanation over an annual grant made to the FCT judiciary by the FCT administration during Nasir El Rufai’s administration.
Mr. El Rufai had said in his recently published book, The Accidental Public Servant, that his administration decided to budget an annual grant in support of the FCT judicial system to make some procurement.
“…We also decided to budget an annual grant to support our judiciary to procure court recording and automation equipment…,” Mr. El Rufai said.
Now, a coalition of over a hundred and fifty anti-corruption organisations, under the umbrella of the Civil Society Network Against Corruption, CSNAC, want the Chief Justice to investigate the use of the said budget and its legality.
In its petition, signed by its coordinator, Olarenwaju Suraj, CSNAC made a case that the outcome of the investigation be made public as a way of enhancing the respect and integrity of the judiciary.
“We are aware of these grants/ allocations were outside the FCT budget. We are therefore, by this petition demanding that the National Judicial Council ( NJC) undertake a thorough investigation into these allocations, their legality and use; and make public the outcome(S) of the investigation to guarantee the respect for and the integrity of the judiciary.
“This demand is in line with other investigations of the NJC, under your leadership, to sanitize and reposition the judiciary,” CSNAC said.
Following the petition, Ms. Mukhtar asked Mr. Gunmi to explain the details of the budgetary allocation. In the query dated May 6, 2013, she demanded that Mr. Gumi give details of the annual grants.
“I forward herewith a petition dated 2nd April, 201 against you by one Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, Chairman of Civil Society Network Against Corruption on the above subject matter. The petition is self- explanatory. I shall be glad to have your comments within three week from the date of receipt of this letter, please,” said Ms. Muhktar.
The Accidental Public Servant
Mr. El Rufai’s book has generated a lot of controversy since its launch earlier in the year. The autobiography details some of the happenings within government circles during the former minister’s various positions in government. The often acerbic contention between the author and presumed victims of some of the book’s claims have made perhaps one of the most engaging literary disputation in modern Nigerian literary culture.