COVID-19: Uncertainty over CJN’s health status

•As Supreme Court debunks report of testing positive for coronavirus

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad has tested positive for COVID-19 and is presently in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, receiving treatment.

A Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Ibrahim Saulawa made the disclosure at the unveiling of the national headquarters of the Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria (MULAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

It would be recalled that Justice Muhammad was absent at the swearing-in of 72 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria on Monday.

Because of his absence, Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour swore-in the new SANs and declared the 2020/2021 legal year of the apex court opened, being the most senior Justice of the Supreme Court.

But the Director of Press and Information of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Dr Festus Akande has said that there is no medical report indicating that the CJN has tested positive for Coronavirus. 

Akande, in a statement on Tuesday in response to the questions on the health status and the whereabout of the CJN by Justice Saulawa said, “I wish to state categorically clear that there is no medical report so far made available by anybody indicating that the Hon. CJN has tested positive for coronavirus.

“Those peddling the rumour should go a step further to confirm from their sources and equally obtain the copy of whatever laboratory test result they are relying on.”

He added further that, “No one has so far shown me or any other person in Supreme Court a copy of the test result they are referring to in the report.”

Akande had, while reacting to a report that there was anxiety over the health of the CJN said, “there is no iota of truth in the claim being peddled by the publication, as there hasn’t been any indication made public or otherwise that has shown any anxiety over the CJN’s health.”

He referred to the report as a product of the imagination of the author of the concocted story which has literally failed the test of sound, investigative journalism.

Akande said the absence of the CJN  at a function was not enough to conclude that there is now “anxiety over his health.” 

When asked specifically about the whereabouts of the CJN, Akande told Tribune Online that all that needs to be said was contained in the two press statements he has issued.

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