Claim: Tinubu Budget N35bn Palliatives For Judges
On July 13, 2023, a Twitter user claimed that “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu promised to give N35 billion out of the N500 billion approved by the National Assembly for palliatives, to members of the National Judicial Council (NJC) headed by the Chief Justice of the Federation (CJN), Justice Kayode Ariwoola’’.
At the time of this report, the tweet has garnered over 316,000 views and over 3k retweets. The user further stated that the move is to sway the judges to deliver the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal judgement in favour of the President.
Reports from media houses like Premium Times, Tribune and Daily Trust show that the federal government approved the distribution of N500 billion as palliatives to poor Nigerians, however, there was no mention of N35 billion palliatives for members of the NJC. The N500 billion, according to the federal government, would be shared to 12 million poor and low-income households who will get N8,000 monthly for six months. The President, in a letter to the National Assembly said the money would be transferred directly to identified beneficiaries’ accounts.
The loan was sourced by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari to the tune of $800 million from the World Bank for the National Social Safety Net programme.The money according to the federal government is targeted at cushioning the effect of the fuel subsidy removal among the poor and vulnerable Nigerians as it will assist them in coping with basic needs.
The National Judicial Council is one of the federal executive bodies created by the 1999 Constitution. Amongst other functions, it is responsible for the appointment, promotion and discipline of judicial officers. The NJC also performs several judicial functions. Mainly among them is advising the President and governors on issues related to the judiciary. Justice Kayode Ariwoola by virtue of occupying the position of Chief Justice of Nigeria, is the Chairman of the NJC. Some members of the NJC are Appeal court judges who are also serving on the presidential election petition tribunal.
The five-man panel of justices is presided by Justice Haruna Tsammani. The candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and his counterpart in the Labour Party, Peter Obi are challenging Tinubu’s victory at the poll. The tribunal is expected to deliver its judgement in August.
Verdict: No Evidence
CDD fact-checkers can confirm that there is no evidence to back the claim that the NJC will be receiving n35 billion from the loan facility. The publicly available information is that the N500 billion approved by the National Assembly for palliative care is to be distributed under the federal government’s safety net program for poor and vulnerable citizens to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy.