Investigations have also reveal that Buhari may have queried two of his ministers over the allegations that they approached Supreme Court justices to influence the court to deliver favourable judgments for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election appeals from Rivers, Abia, Ebonyi, Ekiti and Akwa Ibom States.
Presidency sources revealed that during the CJN’s meeting with Buhari last month on the arrest of seven judges by the Department of State Security (DSS), Justice Mohammed reportedly orally informed the president of the attempt to induce the judges.
He told Buhari that his ministers, among others, alleged that they were acting on the instruction of the president.
Justices Inyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court were two of the seven justices who were arrested by the DSS. However, after they were granted bail, the two Supreme Court judges, in separate letters to the CJN, blamed their arrests on their refusal to yield to demands by Amaechi, Onu and other APC chieftains to give favourable judgments to the governorship candidates of the ruling party in the five states.
Following the revelation, Buhari was reported to have informed Justice Mohammed that he had nothing to do with the allegations, but asked the CJN to put it in writing.
On receiving the CJN’s letter against his ministers, Buhari, a source confirmed, queried Amaechi and Onu to respond to the weighty allegations.
The president’s position was in line with a statement issued by the presidency on October 30, when it advised journalists and other Nigerians to stop linking Buhari to the legal travails of the arrested judges in the country.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, had said Buhari would be the last person to authorise anybody to induce a judge to pervert the course of justice.
However, the CJN’s decision to report the affected ministers to the president has not gone down well with them, as they are now hell bent on extracting their pound of flesh from the judiciary and the Supreme Court for daring to report them to their boss.
It was learnt that the desire to exact revenge informed the filing of the charges against the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court Gambo Saleh by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice.
Owing to the strained relationship between the executive and the judiciary, the AGF has in recent times boycotted events organised by the Supreme Court.
One of such events was the valedictory session held in honour of a retired Supreme Court justice, Sueliman Galadima. It has always been the tradition of the AGF to attend and deliver a speech on such occasions. But the AGF did not attend and neither did he send a representative.
Meanwhile, the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the president, Mr. Femi Adesina, has offered reasons why members of the ruling APC and those in the president’s cabinet have not been prosecuted for corruption.
The presidential spokesman, who spoke on a radio programme, Sweet F.M’s Podium in Abeokuta, further maintained that the federal government’s anti-corruption fight was not selective.
According to him, the APC chieftains and appointees were not being prosecuted because no evidence had been put forward indicting them of being involved in corrupt practices.
“The onus lies on he who alleges to also prove (the allegation),” he said.
“The fact that any PDP member crosses to APC does not provide automatic shield. Whoever is indicted will be prosecuted,” he added.
On the arrest of the judges, Adesina said the raid on judges was only a raid on corruption and not the judiciary.
“Mr. President has said it all. No one is out to intimidate the judiciary. The DSS raid was a raid on corruption, not the judiciary,” he said.