The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), to immediately invite Senator Ahmad Muhammad Bulkachuwa for interrogation and prosecution.
Senator Bulkachuwa had during the valedictory session of the Senate of the 9th Assembly on Monday, June 12, 2023, on the floor of the Senate boasted about how he influenced the decision of his wife while she was serving as a Judge and President of the Court of Appeal.
A statement signed by the President of the body, Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, SAN on Wednesday, said that the Senator’s utterances came with a huge negative impact on the integrity and independence of the Judiciary.
Maikyau pointed out that the statements were clearly admissions by the Senator, that he did attempt to, and/or actually perverted the course of justice/interfered with due administration of justice, which makes him liable to be investigated and prosecuted even on his admission.
According to the NBA president, given the office held by his wife, no one would be left in doubt as to the sort of help he either succeeded or did not succeed in securing for his colleagues.
The statement read: “My attention was drawn to a viral video clip on the social media, of the comments made by Senator Adamu Muhammad Bulkachuwa on the floor of the Senate on Monday, 12 June 2023, at the valedictory session of the Senate of the 9th Assembly, before he was interrupted and stopped by the then Senate President Ahmed Lawan.
“Senator Bulkachuwa, in his remarks, amongst other things, referred to “confidential dealings” he had had with some of his colleagues in the Senate, and went on to say: “I look at faces in this chamber whom have come to me and sought for my help when my wife was the President of the Court of Appeal, and I’m sure…
“In his concluding remarks, he said: And I must thank particularly, my wife, whose freedom and independence I encroached upon while she was in office, and she has been very tolerant and accepted my encroachment, and extended her help to my colleagues…
“All these were amidst several interjections by the Senate President. Probably, if the Senate President had not interrupted Senator Bulkachuwa, he would have made more vital/useful revelations that would have provided specific details of the “confidential dealings of one sort or the other” he allegedly had with some of his colleagues in which according to him, “I did my best and in most cases I succeeded.
“These colleagues, according to him, only “thanked me for what I have done with words of mouth, that was all.
“At the 102nd meeting of the National Judicial Council (NJC) held today, 14 June 2023, I took the liberty of my membership of the Council to complain about the rather disgusting and despicable conduct of Senator Bulkachuwa, which was a direct attack on the integrity of the Judiciary”.
According to the Maikyau, the NJC condemned the actions of the Senator in the strongest terms as an affront on the integrity and independence of the Judiciary.
He stated that while the NBA will at all times rise to the defence of the honour, integrity and independence of the judiciary, it shall not hesitate to take on anyone, either within or outside the legal profession, who takes steps or makes statements that are capable of undermining the independence of the judiciary and the impartiality of the judicial processes.
“It is in this regard that I call on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), to immediately invite Senator Ahmad Muhammad Bulkachuwa for interrogation and proceed to prosecute him accordingly. I shall write a letter to both the IGP and the ICPC Chairman in this respect”, Maikyau added.
He reiterated the NBA’s commitment to the maintenance and defence of the integrity and independence of the Judiciary in Nigeria, within the bounds of the law, irrespective of the personalities involved.