NIGERIA’S Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad has been flown to Dubai for emergency treatment after suddenly contracting coronavirus in what appears to indicate that he may be suffering from other ailments.
Justice Mohammed, 66, who was appointed into office in July last year, is considered a key to President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as he was brought in to replace Justice Walter Onnoghen, who the government was not comfortable with. In the run-up to the elections last year, the government needed a chief justice it could rely on, given the fact that a large number of cases would go to litigation.
Over the last year-and-a-half, Justice Mohammed has presided over the Supreme Court of Nigeria and during this time, the government has not suffered any embarrassing losses. Yesterday, Justice Mohammed supposed to swear-in 72 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria (Sans) but was absent at the ceremony.
It is unclear if he is suffering from other ailments or if the decision to fly him abroad was taken as a precaution. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, President Buhari has already lost his chief of staff Mallam Abba Kyari to the virus and last week Major General Olubunmi Irefin, the general officer commanding the Sixth Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army succumbed to Covid-19.
This morning, Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, a member of the Supreme Court, announced that the chief justice is abroad receiving treatment at the unveiling of the national headquarters of Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria in Abuja. Yesterday, at the swearing-in of the Sans, Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court, administered the oath of office.