NJC Clears Federal Judge Of Misconduct



The National Judicial Council (NJC) has cleared a judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo of misconduct.

The Council chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, dismissed a petition by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the jurist.

Justice Muhammad held that the anti-graft agency’s letter, accusing the judge of wrongfully granting an ex parte application, was without merit.

He, therefore, advised the EFCC’s Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, to file an appeal, if he was dissatisfied with the decision.

This comes a month after the EFCC filed a petition claiming that Justice Taiwo granted an ex parte order restraining it from performing its statutory functions.

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But the Council, in its response made available to the EFCC today, said it considered the Commission’s claim and the judge’s response during an online meeting on 22 and 23 April 2020.

“After deliberation, the Council could not find any substance of infraction committed by the learned trial judge.

“Council also noted that all the steps taken by the learned trial judge in handling the cases were in accord with the laws and procedure legally available.

“Consequently, the Council dismissed the petition for lack of merit. You are therefore advised to appeal against the Ruling if you wish, please,”  the NJC said in a letter by its secretary, Ahmed Saleh.

PHOTOS: Buhari Swears-In Tanko Muhammad As New CJN

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday swore-in Justice Tanko Muhammad as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Justice Muhammad also at the event took his oath of office and pledged not to allow personal interests’ override his official decisions in office.


See photos of the swearing-in below…

Senate To Confirm Mohammad Tanko As CJN


The Senate has resolved to screen the nomination of Justice Tanko Mohammad as the Chief Justice of the federation.

Justice Mohammad’s screening is scheduled for Wednesday, July 17th.

He will be screened by a committee of the entire Senate.

Senate President, Dr.Ahmed Lawan made the vote during plenary on Tuesday.

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President Muhammadu Buhari had last week, forwarded Justice Tanko’s name to the Senate for confirmation, in accordance with Section 23(1) of the 1999 Constitution.

The President took the action based on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC).

He also sent a second letter seeking the approval for the appointment of 15 special advisers.

Court Strikes Out Suit Seeking To Stop Confirmation Of Tanko Muhammad As CJN      

Tanko Muhammad


A Federal High Court in Abuja has struck out a suit challenging Justice Tanko Muhammad’s competence to hold the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo made his judgement on the grounds that Malcolm Omirhobo Foundation who is the plaintiff, lacked the locus standi to institute the suit.

READ ALSO: Buhari Asks Senate To Confirm Tanko Muhammad As CJN

Justice Ekwo also held that the group does not have the power to engage in the public interest litigation which it claimed to be undertaking by filing the action.

He adds that contrary to the claim of the plaintiff to be a non-governmental organisation, there is no legislation in Nigeria permitting the registration of any group as such and no group registered under the Part C of the company could engage in such litigation.

Justice Ekwo asks the National Assembly to emulate some Commonwealth countries like Uganda and Zimbabwe that have separate legislations on registration of the non-governmental organisation.

The court decision comes a day after President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded the name of the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, to the Senate for approval as the substantive CJN.

The President’s request was sent in a letter to the Senate on Thursday.

A second letter was also sent by President Buhari, seeking the approval for the appointment of 15 special advisers.

Buhari Asks Senate To Confirm Tanko Muhammad As CJN


President Muhammadu Buhari has forwarded the name of the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, to the Senate for approval as the substantive CJN.

The President’s request was sent in a letter to the Senate on Thursday.

A second letter was also sent by President Buhari, seeking the approval for the appointment of 15 special advisers.

Buhari’s requests come a day after the National Judicial Council (NJC) rose from an Emergency Meeting to recommend to the President, the appointment of Justice Muhammad, as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.

The NJC had also recommended eight other persons as Heads of Court.

Following a meeting which was initially presided over by Justice Umaru Abdullahi, CON, the NJC said it considered and approved the recommendation of its Interview Committee that screened the two candidates presented by the Federal Judicial Service Commission to it for appointment as Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Buhari Writes CJN Over Appointment Of Supreme Court Justices


President Muhammadu Buhari has written the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Tanko Muhammad, over the appointment of five additional Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

The Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

According to him, the President wrote: Pursuant to the provisions of Section 230(2) A&B of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), I am pleased to request that you initiate in earnest the process of appointing additional five Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria to make the full complement of 21 Justices as provided by the aforementioned provisions of the Constitution.

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This is in line with the Governments Agenda of repositioning the Judiciary in general and Supreme Court in particular for greater efficiency, with a view to reducing the backlogs of appeals pending at the Supreme Court.

“Please accept, your Lordship, the assurances of my highest regards.”

Meanwhile, Mr Garba also noted that President Buhari has accepted the voluntary retirement from service of Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria which took effect from May 28.

He said the President thanked Justice Onnoghen for his service to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and wished him the best of retirement life.

Agbakoba Submits Petition Against Acting CJN, Tanko Mohammed


A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Dr Olisa Agbakoba has submitted a petition against Justice Tanko Muhammed, who was appointed last Friday as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement from his chambers on Monday, Mr Agbakoba said he submitted his petition to the National Judicial Council, asking it to determine the propriety of Justice Mohammed accepting to be sworn-in by the President in place of the suspended CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen.

According to him, by submitting himself to the President to be sworn-in as acting CJN, Justice Mohammed lent himself to a constitutional infraction by the executive arm of government.

Agbakoba recalled that Justice Mohammed was part of an NJC panel that sanctioned Justice Obisike Orji of Abia State for allowing himself to be sworn-in as Abia State Chief Judge by the state’s governor without the recommendation of the NJC.

Agbakoba said, “It is a matter of regret that Justice Tanko Muhammad, who participated in this process, will lend himself to this constitutional infraction.

READ ALSO: Senate Approaches Supreme Court For Interpretation Of Onnoghen’s Suspension

“We pray the NJC to determine this petition in line with the decision in Justice Obisike Orji by immediately removing Justice Tanko Muhammad as Justice of the Supreme Court on grounds of gross misconduct which has generated perhaps the most controversial crisis in Nigeria’s judicial history.”

Insisting that the President violated the law in suspending Justice Onnoghen, Agbakoba cited Section 153 of the constitution, saying the law was clear on how a CJN could be removed.

He said, “The Constitution is clear about the procedure for suspending or removing the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

“The Chief Justice of Nigeria can only be removed on the recommendation of the NJC. See Section 153 (1), Paragraph 21 (a) of the 3rd Schedule and Section 292 (1) (a) (i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999and the Supreme Court decision in Elelu-Habeeb v AGF (2012) 40 WRN 1.

“Hon. Justice Tanko Muhammad is fully aware of the state of law, yet presented himself to be sworn in by the President.”

Meanwhile, anti-corruption group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, has given the NJC till Thursday to take over Onnoghen’s case and look into the false asset declaration allegations levelled against him.

SERAP, in a statement by its Senior Legal Adviser, Bamisope Adeyanju, asked Justice Muhammad to recuse himself from the case.

It said if the allegations against Justice Onnoghen are established after the investigation by the NJC, the CJN should be handed over to the relevant anti-graft agency for prosecution.

“The NJC should take the recommended action within five days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, failing which SERAP will take appropriate legal action to compel the NJC to take action on the case,” the statement read.