The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, on Monday, warned that rumor-mongers “would be made to face the full weight of the law to serve as deterrent to the several others”.
In a statement by the Director of Press and Information, Supreme Court, Dr Festus Akande, denied issuing a directive for the transfer of a House of Representatives election petition case in Delta State from Panel III to Panel II of the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal.
The CJN was referring to a case between the representative of Bomadi/Patani Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Nicholas Mutu, and Collins Eselomo of the All Progressives Congress.
Eselomo, who is challenging the Independent National Electoral Commission’s declaration of Mutu of the Peoples Democratic Party as the winner of the February 23 poll, in June petitioned the CJN, requesting the transfer of the case to another tribunal panel over alleged judicial misconduct in the handling of his case by the panel originally hearing it.
Muhammad said he never issued any letter for the transfer of the case.
The statement read in part, “The office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria has never at any time issued a letter or query of any sort with such information to the said panel and if at all such information was to be communicated, we have our well-established official channel to do it.
“We, therefore, enjoin the public, particularly politicians, to always conduct themselves with decorum and respect, especially when making weighty allegations and insinuations of that nature, as the consequences are always dire and far-reaching. For the umpteenth time, rumor-mongers and peddlers of malicious information should endeavour to apply caution and toe the path of honour and dignity.
“Anybody caught spreading such misleading and harmful information will certainly be made to face the full weight of the law to serve as a deterrent to the several others who are waiting eagerly in the queue to administer their own dose of infectious falsehood on the unsuspecting public.”