APC Reports Akwa Ibom Senatorial Election Appeal Panel To NJC

A file photo of APC spokesman, Mr Lanre Isa-Onilu, addressing a press conference in Abuja.

 

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reported a panel of the Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar, Cross River State to the National Judicial Council (NJC).

APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, confirmed in a statement on Monday that the party has taken the decision to report the panel which recognised Senator Albert Akpan as the winner of the Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District election to the judicial body.

The party condemned the October 18 judgement which upheld the victory of the lawmaker who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), describing it as “strange”.

Issa-Onilu said, “The Court of Appeal’s strange ‘judgement’ was delivered in blatant disobedience of the directive of the President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa who had disbanded the appeal panel and constituted a new panel eight clear days before it determined the appeal filed by the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Hon Bassey Etim, the Party’s senatorial candidate in the 2019 National Assembly election in Akwa Ibom.”

“The party’s legal department will in due course submit a formal petition to the NJC over this travesty,” he added.

READ ALSO: 14 Members Seek Buhari’s Intervention Edo Assembly Crisis

The party’s spokesman said the APC would not join issues with the judgement, claiming that the panel of justices that decided the case had been disbanded by the President of the Court of Appeal before the panel began sitting.

He added that the members of the panel had been transferred out of the jurisdiction of the case.

“We wonder why a member of a disbanded panel became so interested on a matter before another panel that it had to sit and read out a ‘judgement’ purportedly on behalf of other members of a non-existent panel.

“We ask, what exactly was at stake? We state clearly that any judgment given without jurisdiction is illegal and a nullity,” Issa-Onilu stated.

According to him, the party is urging the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgement and fix a new date for the hearing of the appeal de novo.

The APC spokesman also stressed that it was important for the NJC to take decisive actions to call the panel to order.

He noted that Section 246(3) of the 1999 Constitution has empowered the Court of Appeal as the final law court on National Assembly elections in Nigeria.

Issa-Onilu, therefore, noted that while the powers of final decision on petitions arising from National Assembly election rest with the Court of Appeal, proceedings must be conducted by a properly constituted court with due regard for a fair hearing.

“We shall pursue the cause of justice on this matter, including filing a formal petition against the members of the panel before the NJC, to a logical conclusion,” he said.

NJC Sets Up Panels To Probe Eight Judges

njc

 

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has set up committees to investigate eight judges for alleged judicial misconduct.

This was disclosed at its meeting held in Abuja on Thursday while recommending the appointment of  four Supreme Court Justices, four Heads of Court, thirteen Judicial Officers for Federal and State High Courts and one Kadi for Sharia Court of Appeal;

The council asked President Muhammadu Buhari to give approval for the appointment of the apex court Justices and some state governors for the Judges of the state high courts.

READ ALSO: NJC Recommends Appointment Of Four Supreme Court Judges, Other Officers

Those recommended for the Supreme Court seat are Justices Adamu Jay Rock from North East, Emmanuel Agim, C Oseji both from South-South and Helleen Morenikeji Ogunwumiju from South West.

The judges are being elevated from the Court of Appeal to the apex court.

Also at the meeting which was presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Muhammad Tanko Ibrahim, President Buhari was asked to appoint Justice John Terhemba Tsoho as the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court and Justice B. B Kanyip as President of the National Industrial Court.

The Governors of Edo, Ondo, Akwa-Ibom, Kogi, Anambra, Taraba, Abia, Osun, Nasarawa and Jigawa States are to give approval for appointments of 22 successful candidates for appointment as Judicial Officers.

Justice Esther Amenaghawon Edigin was recommended for appointment as the Chief Judge of Edo state.

NJC Recommends Appointment Of Four Supreme Court Judges, Other Officers

Supreme Court Strikes Out APC's Appeal On Exclusion From Rivers Elections

 

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the appointment of four new Supreme Court judges for the Federal and State High Courts.

The judges appointed are Adamu Jauro (North-East); Emmanuel A. Agim,
(South-South); C. Oseji, (South-South); Helen M. Ogunwumiju, and (South-West).

The NJC also recommended the appointment of 13 judicial officers for federal and state High Courts.

Their recommendations were sent to President Muhammadu Buhari who has the powers to appoint the judges with the backing of the Senate.

PRESS RELEASE
23rd October 2019
• NJC recommends the appointment of four (4) Supreme Court of Nigeria Justices, four (4) Heads of Court, Thirteen (13) Judicial Officers for Federal and State High Courts and one (1) Kadi, Sharia Court of Appeal;

• Empanels Committees to investigate eight (8) Judges.

The National Judicial Council under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad CFR, at its Meeting of 22nd and 23rd October, 2019, considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee and resolved to recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and the Governors of Edo, Ondo, Akwa-Ibom, Kogi, Anambra, Taraba, Abia, Osun, Nasarawa and Jigawa States, twenty-two (22) successful candidates for appointment as Justices of the Supreme Court, Heads of Courts and other Judicial Officers in Nigeria.

They are: –
1. APPOINTMENT OF FOUR (4) JUSTICES, SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA
i) Hon. Justice Adamu Jauro, JCA (North-East Zone)
ii) Hon. Justice Emmanuel A. Agim, JCA
(South-South Zone)
iii) Hon. Justice C. Oseji, JCA (South-South Zone)
iv) Hon. Justice Helen M. Ogunwumiju, JCA
(South-West Zone)
2. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, FEDERAL HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Hon. Justice Tsoho John Terhemba

3. APPOINTMENT OF PRESIDENT, NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT OF NIGERIA
i) Hon. Justice B. B. Kanyip

4. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, EDO STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Hon. Justice Esther Amenaghawon Edigin

5. APPOINTMENT OF PRESIDENT, CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL, ONDO STATE
i) Hon. Justice Eunice Aderonke Alade

6. APPOINTMENT OF FOUR (4) JUDGES, OSUN STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Mathias Olusegun Agboola, Esq.
ii) Sikiru Adeposi Oke, Esq.
iii) Olorunfemi Judith Ajanaku, Esq.
iv) Lawrence Olawale Arojo, Esq.

7. APPOINTMENT OF ONE (1) JUDGE, NASARAWA STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Bawa Sunday Baba, Esq.
8. APPOINTMENT OF ONE (1) JUDGE, AKWA-IBOM STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Nkeruwem Martin Obot, Esq.
9. APPOINTMENT OF ONE (1) JUDGE, KOGI STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Yahaya Adamu, Esq.
10. APPOINTMENT OF TWO (2) JUDGES, ANAMBRA STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Onyinye Samuel Anumonye, Esq.
ii) Victoria Toochukwu Nwoye, Esq.
11. APPOINTMENT OF ONE (1) JUDGE, TARABA STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Goje Yahaya Hamman, Esq.
12. APPOINTMENT OF THREE (3) JUDGES, ABIA STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Benson Anya, Esq.
ii) Enyinnaya Okezie, Esq.
iii) Adiele Ogbonna, Esq.
13. APPOINTMENT OF ONE (1) KADI, SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL, JIGAWA STATE
i) Ibrahim Alhaji Ya’u

All the appointed Judges are expected to be sworn-in after the approval of the President and their respective State Governors and or confirmation by the Senate and State Houses of Assembly as the case may be.

Council at the Meeting deliberated on the Report of its Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee and decided to empanel eight (8) Committees to investigate eight (8) Judicial Officers from amongst the 35 petitions written against 37 Judges of the Federal and State High Courts.

The remaining petitions were summarily dismissed for obvious and manifest lack of merit, being subjudice, concerning administrative matters, or that such petitions were matters for appeal.

The dismissed petitions were against Hon. Justice Adamu Abdu-kafarati, the immediate past Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justices Anduwi Chikere, H. I. O. Oshoma, Ayo Emmanuel all of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice J. D. Peters, National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Hon. Justice S. E. Aladetoyinbo (Rtd), of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Hon. Justice Opeyemi Oke (Rtd), Chief Judge of Lagos State, Hon. Justices K. A. Jose, S. S. Ogunsanya, T. A. Oyekan-Abdullahi, O. O. Femi-Adeniyi and D. T. Okuwobi, all of the Lagos State High Court of Justice. Hon. Justice Mojisola Idayat Sule, Oyo State High Court, Hon. Justices R. D. Harriman, A. O. Omamogbo, Michael Nduka Obi, High Court of Justice, Delta State, Hon. Justice E. N. Thompson, River State High Court, Hon. Justice Inaikende Eradiri, High Court, Bayelsa State, Hon. Justices N. B. Ukoha and B. C. Iheka of High Court of Justice, Imo State, Hon. Justices F. I. N. Ngwu, R. O. Odugu, Enugu State High Court, Hon. Justice Abdulkadir H. Suleiman, Bauchi State High Court and Hon. Justice Garba Abdulkadir of the Katsina State High Court of Justice.

Council also approved the recommendation of two (2) Committees earlier set-up to investigate Hon. Justice Winifred I. A. Effiong of Akwa-Ibom State High Court of Justice and Hon. Justice Bello Aliyu Gusau of High of Justice, Zamfara State which absolved them of any judicial misconduct.

Soji Oye, Esq
Director, Information

NJC Recommends Appointment Of Justice Muhammad As New CJN

BREAKING: NJC Holds Emergency Meeting Over Onnoghen's Suspension
A file photo of NJC session in Abuja.

 

The National Judicial Council rose today from an Emergency Meeting to recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari, the appointment of Hon. Dr. Justice Tanko Muhammad, as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.

According to a statement by its Director, Information, Mr. Soji Oye, the NJC also on Wednesday recommended eight other persons as Heads of Court.

The Meeting which was initially presided over by Hon. Mr. Justice Umaru Abdullahi, CON, 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.

Subsequently, the plenary of the Meeting presided over by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR, recommended to the Governors of Sokoto, Lagos, Anambra, Ebonyi, Niger, Taraba, Kano, and Jigawa States, eight (8) successful candidates for appointment as Chief Judges and Grand Kadis for the States.

READ ALSO: Senate Asks Executive To Issue South Africa Travel Alert

The recommendations include:

“1. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, SOKOTO STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICEi) Hon. Mr. Justice Muhammad S. Sifawa

2. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, LAGOS STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Hon. Mr. Justice Kazeem O. Alogba

3. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, ANAMBRA STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Hon. Mr. Justice Ijem Onwuamaegbu

4. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, EBONYI STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Hon. Mr. Justice Nwaigwe A. Anselm

5. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, NIGER STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Hon. Mr. Justice Aliyu M. Mayaki

6. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, TARABA STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Hon. Mr. Justice Filibus B. Andetur

7. APPOINTMENT OF GRAND KADI, SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL, KANO
i) Hon. Kadi Tijjani Yusuf Yakasai

8. APPOINTMENT OF GRAND KADI, SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL, JIGAWA
i) Hon. Kadi Isa Jibrin Gantsa”

The newly appointed Heads of Court will be sworn-in after the approval of the President and their respective State Governors and confirmation by the Senate and State Houses of Assembly as the case may be.

Council at the Meeting commended President Muhammadu Buhari, for his unequivocal position on the financial autonomy for the States Judiciary and called on the various State Executives to as a matter of urgency, commence its immediate implementation.

It posited that this is not only in line with the Constitutional dictates, but presently the Judicial position.

Council also considered notification of retirements of Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judges of Gombe, Edo, Niger, Ebonyi, Acting Chief Judge of Kebbi States as well as those of nine (9) other Judicial Officers from the Federal High Court, High Courts of Gombe, Delta, Edo, Imo, Benue and Katsina States.

Justice Muhammad was sworn in as the Acting CJN on January 25, immediately after the then, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen was suspended by President Buhari.

The President in April requested and obtained the NJC’s consent to extend Muhammad’s acting tenure by the constitutionally-allowed three months.

The extended three months period was due to lapse on July 25.

Onnoghen’s Retirement: NJC Holds Emergency Meeting

BREAKING: NJC Holds Emergency Meeting Over Onnoghen's Suspension
A file photo of the NJC session in Abuja.

 

The National Judicial Council (NJC), today held an Emergency Meeting to formally note the acceptance by President Muhammadu Buhari of the voluntary retirement of Justice Walter Onnoghen, as Chief Justice of Nigeria.

In a statement by the NJCs Director of Information, Soji Oye, the Presidents acceptance of the retirement is in line with the Councils recommendation to him on April 3, 2019.

At the end of the emergency meeting, the NJC thanked the President for accepting Onnoghens resignation, describing it as a move which was in the best interest of the country.

Read Also: President Buhari Accepts Onnoghens Voluntary Retirement

The Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Sunday announced that President Buhari had accepted the former CJN’s retirement from service.

According to him, the retirement took effect from May 28, 2019.

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

President Buhari also wrote to the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Tanko Muhammad, requesting that he commences the process of appointing five additional Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

NJC Has No Capacity To Self-Reform – Jiti Ogunye

NJC Has No Capacity To Self-Reform – Ogunye

 

A legal practitioner, Mr Jiti Ogunye, says the National Judicial Council (NJC) lacks the capacity to reform itself.

He gave the opinion during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, where he called for a total reform of the nation’s judiciary.

The lawyer was reacting to the issues surrounding the trial of Justice Walter Onnoghen at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

[READ ALSO] Onnoghen: Adesina, Oyeniyi Disagree Over Legality Of Procedure

 

He, however, said there was a need to carry along key stakeholders such as the NJC and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in the reform process for better result.

Ogunye said, “Recommendations can be made time and again but when there are no factual situations that warrant stakeholders focussing on the subject so closely; we won’t then have these issues.

“Talking about how to reform, I want to recommend that the Federal Government holds this event in collaboration with stakeholders – NJC, NBA, and all that, who have to set up a grand commission to look at how to reform our judiciary holistically and comprehensively.”

“Not just about corruption, and I am saying this with all sense of responsibility; the NJC has no capacity to self-reform,” he added. “Part of the problem that we have to deal with on this occasion is that we had a CJN who was indicted presiding over an NJC that he single-handedly nominated or appointed 14 members of; a majority of them.”

“So, how can that NJC that is called upon to regulate itself in regulating the regulators perform optimally?” the lawyer questioned.

He was hopeful that if the issues raised were thoroughly considered in addition with some legislative interventions such as amendment of the Constitution, the judiciary would become better.

The lawyer also suggested that the nation’s judicial system be re-federalised, as part of the fundamental reform process.

According to him, the judiciary is unitary regardless of the various forms of the court such as the state and federal High Courts.

Ogunye decried the situation where a judge has over 700 cases to adjudicate, stressing that Lagos State does, for example, needed a minimum of 200 judges.

 

NJC Approves Buhari’s Request To Extend Tenure Of Acting CJN

Acting CJN, Tanko Muhammad

 

The National Judicial Council (NJC), has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to extend the tenure of the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad.

The council in a statement by its Director Information, Soji Oye, stated that the approval followed several deliberations during a meeting which was held last week Thursday.

Mr Oye noted that contrary to reports that the NJC was going to meet next week on the extension of Justice Muhammad’s tenure, the council, however, meet on April 18, 2019, which resolved to the approval of his extension.

READ ALSO: Onnoghen Rejects CCT’s Judgement, Files Notice Of Appeal

“The attention of the National Judicial Council has been drawn to an online newspaper and daily newspaper Report stating that the Council would meet next week to deliberate on the extension of the Acting Appointment of Honourable Dr Justice I. T. Muhammad CFR, as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

“Contrary to the above, the Council actually met on Thursday 18th April 2019 and at the 88thMeeting considered and approved the request of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for the extension of the Appointment of Hon. Dr Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR, as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria for another three (3) months and Council has since forwarded its approval to the President”.

NJC To Further Investigate Petitions Against Onnoghen, Muhammad

NJC Sets Up Panel To Probe Onnoghen, Acting CJN
Justice Walter Onnoghen Justice Tanko Mohammed

 

The National Judicial Council has constituted a five-man investigative committee to further investigate petitions against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, and the Acting CJN, Justice Ibrahim Muhammad.

The NJC has also forwarded a fresh petition written against the Acting CJN by the Action People’s Party (APP) for his response within seven working days.

In a statement by its Director of Information, Soji Oye, the NJC said the decisions followed a continuation of its emergency meeting, during which the council accepted the result of the preliminary assessment of the petitions against Justices Onnoghen and Muhammad.

The investigative committee initially set up to assess the first petitions had submitted that the allegations were worthy of further investigation and should not be terminated under Rule 17 of the Judicial Discipline Regulations of the Council.

READ ALSOCCT Orders Onnoghen’s Arrest

According to the statement by the NJC, “The council constituted a five-member Investigation Committee pursuant to Rule 20 (1) of the Judicial Discipline Regulations under the Chairmanship of Hon. Mr Justice S. A. Akintan, CON, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria”.

It added that the Council directed a five-man Committee to work expeditiously, determine all the petitions and responses and report to Council for a final decision.

Onnoghen’s Suspension: Senate Discontinues Supreme Court Case, Lauds NJC’s Intervention

Onnoghen’s Suspension: Senate Discontinues Supreme Court Case, Lauds NJC’s Intervention
A file photo of lawmakers during plenary at the Senate.

 

The Senate has ordered the discontinuation of the case filed at the Supreme Court on the suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Special Adviser to Senate President Bukola Saraki, Yusuph Olaniyonu, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

According to him, the decision following the intervention of the National Judicial Council (NJC) on the issue.

Olaniyonu explained that the lawmakers decided to discontinue the case at the apex court in order to give the NJC intervention a chance.

“The Senate has, therefore, decided to discontinue the case it filed in the Supreme Court,” he said. “It should be noted that the case has been slated for hearing tomorrow (Tuesday).

“This decision also affirms the confidence of the Senate in the ability of the NJC to successfully and creditably resolve the issues,” the Senate President’s media aide added.

READ ALSO: NJC Gives Onnoghen, Acting CJN Seven Days To Respond To Petitions

On January 25, President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Justice Onnoghen and appointed Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed as the acting CJN.

President Muhammadu Buhari shakes hands with acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, at the State House in Abuja on January 25, 2019. Inset: Justice Walter Onnoghen.

 

The President had explained that his decision followed an order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), pending the completion of Onnoghen’s trial.

The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) had dragged Justice Onnoghen before the Tribunal over allegations of non-declaration of assets.

The President’s decision sparked widespread criticism from individuals and groups within and outside the country.

Lawmakers at the upper chamber of the National Assembly had planned to reconvene but later filed a case at the Supreme Court on the suspension of Justice Onnoghen.

They had sought the interpretation of the court on whether President Buhari acted within the provision of the Constitution in suspending Onnoghen.

The Senate also asked the court to determine whether the action of the President does amount to usurpation of the powers of the Red Chamber, as provided for in Section 292 of the Constitution.

On Tuesday last week, the NJC held an emergency meeting which was presided over by a former president of the Appeal Court, Justice Umar Abdullahi.

The judicial body gave Justice Onnoghen and Justice Tanko seven working days to respond to different petitions against them.

The NJC is expected to reconvene on Monday next week.

NJC Gives Onnoghen, Acting CJN Seven Days To Respond To Petitions

NJC Gives Onnoghen, Acting CJN Seven Days To Respond To Petitions
Justice Walter Onnoghen                                                                                                 Justice Tanko Mohammed

 

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has given Justice Walter Onnoghen and the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammed, seven days to respond to different petitions written against them.

The NJC gave the ultimatum on Tuesday during an emergency meeting which was presided over by a former president of the Appeal Court, Justice Umar Abdullahi.

Read Also: NBA Demands Due Process On Onnoghen’s Removal, Backs Senate Move

In total, the NJC considered four petitions including one against the Chairman of the Code Of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar, which was referred to the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) which is the appropriate constitutional body empowered to deal with it.

The NJC is to reconvene on February 11, 2019.

Read the other petitions in the statement below.

PRESS RELEASE

29th January, 2019

NJC ends Emergency Meeting

Gives Hon. Mr. Justice W.S.N. Onnoghen, GCON and Hon. Mr. Justice I.T. Muhammad, CFR seven (7) working days to respond to petitions.

Refers petition against CCT Chairman, Danladi Yakubu Umar to the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC).
To reconvene on 11th February 2019.

The National Judicial Council held an Emergency Meeting today and considered four (4) petitions filed at its Secretariat. The petitions are:

Petition against Hon. Mr. Justice W.S.N. Onnoghen, GCON by Zikhrillahi Ibrahim of Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civil Education;

Petition against Hon. Mr. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, CFR by Centre for Justice and Peace Initiative;

Petition against Hon. Mr. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, CFR by Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, OON; and

Petition against Hon. Danladi Yakubu Umar, Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal by Centre for Justice and Peace Initiative.

Council referred the petition against Hon. Danladi Yakubu Umar to the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) which is the appropriate constitutional body empowered to deal with it.

In line with its procedure, Council also forwarded the petitions against Hon. Justices W.S.N. Onnoghen, GCON and I. T. Muhammad, CFR to them for their responses.

In view of the gravity of the matters involved, Council abridged the usual response period from fourteen (14) to seven (7) working days for the Hon. Justices to respond.

Hon. Mr. Justice W. S. N. Onnoghen, GCON and Hon. Mr. Justice I.T. Muhammad, CFR recused themselves from the meeting. Consequently, Council elected Hon. Mr. Justice Umaru Abdullahi, CON, former President of the Court of Appeal as Interim Chairman to preside over the meeting.

Council will reconvene on the 11th February 2019.

Soji Oye, Esq.
Director (Information)

NJC Holds Emergency Meeting Over Onnoghen’s Suspension

BREAKING: NJC Holds Emergency Meeting Over Onnoghen's Suspension
A file photo of judges during a session of NJC in Abuja.

 

The National Judicial Council (NJC) on Tuesday held an emergency meeting in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The meeting focused on the suspension of Justice Water Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria, among other issues.

A former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Umar Abdullahi presided over the meeting.

Channels Television gathered that neither the embattled Justice Onnoghen nor the acting CJN, Justice Ibrahim Mohammed, was allowed to preside.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Friday last week suspended Justice Onnoghen as CJN on the strength of an order by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

READ ALSONBA Demands Due Process On Onnoghen’s Removal, Backs Senate Move

The order also required the President to swear in the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court as CJN, pending the determination of the suit against Justice Onnoghen.

The suspended CJN is facing charges of false assets declaration at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

The suspension of Justice Onnoghen has triggered criticisms from various quarters, including the international community.

They raised concerns about the implication of the President’s action, especially coming close to the general elections.

Onnoghen: Only NJC Has Powers To Suspend CJN, Says Ozekhome

 

Lawyer and human rights activist, Mike Ozekhome, has faulted the Federal Government’s decision to suspend the Chief Justice of the Federation, Walter Onnoghen.

According to him the only body that has the powers to suspend a top judge is the National Judicial Council.

He said this on Monday when he made an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“The Only body that has the power to suspend is the NJC and since the Chief Justice is involved, all they need to do is to convene and the Chief Justice will not seat to chair it.

“The CJN occupies a special place like the Chief Judges that I’ve referred to and the grand cadre it’s not just like any judicial officer. For you to remove him or even any other judicial officer, the NJC must meet,” Ozekhome said.

Onnoghen’s Suspension: Senate Approaches Supreme Court, Cancels Tuesday’s Plenary

CCT Adjourns Onnoghen’s Alleged False Asset Declaration Case Indefinitely

 

His comments come days after President Muhammadu Buhari suspended the CJN, who is being tried over allegations of failing to declare his assets.

According to the president, the development was based on the request of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, pending the completion of the trial.

Following the suspension, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed was appointed as the acting CJN.

Ozekhome, however, stressed that with or without an exparte order, the President has no right to suspend the CJN.

He said, “No, no, no. He does not have the power. Whether on an exparte order or on a motion on notice or even on a court judgement because the powers of appointment and suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria are matters that are governed by the clear provisions of the Constitution.

“Sections 153, sections 158, Section 291, Section 292 (2) and the third schedule Section 21 part 1 and 2 of the 1999 Constitution.

“They say it is the NJC that nominates a person for appointment to the CJN. Then the CJN by 2/3rd majority vote confirms that appointment.

“The President merely plays a nominal role of now swearing in that person.

“It is the same route you follow when you are dismissing. The NJC recommends, the Senate by 2/3rd majority approves, then the president can remove”.