The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, has tested positive for COVID-19, Justice Ibrahim Saulawa has said.
Saulawa, a Justice of the Supreme Court, disclosed this at the unveiling of the national headquarters of the Muslim Lawyers’Association of Nigeria (MULAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to him, the CJN is presently in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, where he is receiving treatment.
Moments after Justice Saulawa made the statement, the Supreme Court disagreed with the comments of the justice on the CJN’s health status.
The Director of Press and Information at the apex court, Dr Akande Festus, in a statement, challenged those saying the CJN tested positive for COVID-19 to provide the result of the test he took.
“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 said.
Festus added, “As of this moment of issuing this statement, 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.”
The CJN was conspicuously absent at the opening of the 2020/2021 Legal Year and swearing-in of 72 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria on Monday.
In his absence, Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour administered oaths to the new SANs as the next most senior Justice of the apex court.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected a few top government officials in Nigeria, including the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, who died after he tested positive for the disease.
Also recently, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday last week.