The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad has refuted reports that he directed the transfer of an election petition being heard by the tribunal in Delta state.
He issued the disclaimer through a statement by the Supreme Court Director, Press and Information, Dr. Akande Festus.
The chief justice said that there was never a time he issued a letter directing the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal panel III, sitting in Asaba, Delta state to transfer the case between the House of Representatives member representing Bomadi/Patani Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Rep. Nicholas Mutu and one Prince Collins Eselomo to panel II.
The Supreme Court said its attention was drawn to the false information making the rounds about a certain letter that purportedly emanated from the office of the chief justice directing the transfer of the said petition.
It said that “even though there was an earlier rebuttal of that tissue of falsehood on October 10 by the media aide of Rep. Mutu, we still deem it imperative to state categorically clear that there is no iota of truth in that information, as it is a mere figment of the imagination of the author.
“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 were to be communicated, we have our well established official channel to do it.
“The Supreme Court therefore, enjoins members of 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.”
Meanwhile, the apex court has warned that anybody caught spreading misleading and harmful information will certainly be made to face the full weight of the law to serve as deterrent to the others, who it stated were “waiting eagerly to administer their own dose of infectious falsehood on the unsuspecting public.
“For the umpteenth time, rumour mongers and peddlers of malicious information should endeavour to apply caution and toe the path of honour and dignity.”