*Says Ahmed left Supreme Court In 2017

The National Judicial Council (NJC), has refuted the allegations that the Supreme Court chief registrar Ahmed Gambo Saleh,  gobbled up over N10 billion in bribes from court contractors and other persons with criminal cases with the judiciary.

The Council in its statement signed by the Director Information, Supreme Court, Soji Oye Esq, said Saleh left Service since 2017 and that the Supreme Court has no staff known as Aliyu Mohammed. 

Oye, added that the petitioner is only misleading the general public by peddling falsehood.

“The attention of the National Judicial Council (NJC) has been drawn to the fallacious publication by an online newspaper Peoples Gazette accusing the Secretary of the National Judicial Council, Ahmed Gambo Saleh of involvement in “N10 billion bribe and federal racketeering.”

“The baseless publication went further to state that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating the imaginary petition written by a faceless individual, Aliyu Mohammed, on behalf of ‘Concerned Supreme Court Staff.’

In setting the record straight, Oye, stated that; “On enquiry, some credible journalists who got the petition and the NJC have discovered that there is no staff by the name Aliyu Mohammed on the Supreme Court staff list and his phone number, 07023358355 on the petition does not exist.

“In the publication it was alleged “that the EFCC has launched a probe into the alleged racketeering by Supreme Court chief registrar Ahmed Gambo Saleh, said to have gobbled up over N10 billion in bribes from Court contractors and other persons with criminal cases with the judiciary.”

“In the publication alleging collection of N10 billion from Supreme Court contractors, Ahmed Gambo Saleh is not the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court. In fact, Mr Saleh left the Supreme Court in 2017 and could not have been awarding contracts in any capacity on behalf of the apex court.

He added that It is worrisome that the writer of the fictitious petition and publication (Peoples Gazette) did not name a single contractor from whom the purported N10 billion was alleged to have been collected. 

“Mr Saleh was also accused of conniving with one Mr Surajo Tanko, purported to be son of the immediate past CJN, to sell off the residence of a Supreme Court Justice in the Aso Rock villa without the knowledge of Honourable Justice Dr I.T Muhammad GCON. 

“It may interest the public to know that the said house No 10 Ibrahim Taiwo Street on the way to the Villa was once occupied by the then CJN before he relocated to his official residence.

“The house was next to House No 11 occupied by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), and on their request and approval by President Muhammadu Buhari for an expansion of NFIU office, both houses were demolished for that purpose. Another house within the Villa was, however, approved for the use of the Supreme Court.

“How then could Mr Saleh have sold the house in question?

Mr Saleh was also accused of “withholding funds meant for purchasing exotic vehicles usually assigned to newly sworn in Justices of the Supreme Court.”

“The question is, is Mr Saleh the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court who is the accounting officer? The answer is emphatic NO. Mr Ahmed Gambo Saleh as the NJC Secretary does not superintend over the affairs of the Supreme Court because they are two distinct entities.

On the allegation of diverting N2.2 billion from to his personal United Bank for Africa (UBA) account number 2027642863, Oye, added that the truth is that the said account is the operational account of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, which can be verified by anyone. 

“Moreover, the said account was opened in 2009, five years before Mr Saleh became the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court. And so Mr Saleh could not have diverted the funds when he had not assumed office.

“Besides, the N2.2 billion was the total transaction in the account of the Supreme Court from 2009 to 2016.”

He said the petitioner only used the said account number which does not belong to Mr Saleh to deliberately and maliciously mislead members of the public. 

On the issue of the Attorney-General of the Federation’s withdrawal of the N2.2 billion fraud charges against Mr Saleh on a purported plea bargain, stated  that when the office of the AGF discovered that the charges could not be substantiated, the charges were dropped without any plea bargaining. 

“It is imperative for the members of the public to be aware that before his emergence as the Secretary of the NJC, some forces who tried to scuttle his appointment as the secretary of the Council have re-emerged with antics aimed at tarnishing his image and bringing his good name to disrepute. 

“It is on record that these forces in a bid to stop his emergence as the NJC Secretary after the interview to consider his appointment, came up with false allegations in the media alleging that he had diverted N2.2 billion from the Supreme Court from 2009 to 2016 on the day the Council meeting was to hold.

“It should be noted that there has never been a time when Mr Saleh admitted  committing any crime before anybody or law court. 

“The sponsors of this malicious allegations believe they own the Judiciary and nobody can become anything within the Judiciary without their approval.

“It is important to reiterate that there is no iota of credibility in the petition as they are not after the truth but are out to smear the good image of Ahmed Gambo Saleh at all cost,” Oye added.

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