Judges’ Welfare Uppermost On Buhari’s Agenda –Malami

A photo combination of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami

 

 

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, says the improvement of the remuneration and conditions of service of judicial officers remains uppermost on the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I wish to recall that one of the cardinal issues raised by the President of the Court of Appeal in Her Lordship’s address last year was the issue of the welfare of our meticulous and committed judicial officers,” he said

“The government of the day is not oblivious of this persistent challenge. Amidst our revenue challenges as a nation, coupled with various demands for a wage increase, one certain assurance I can make to this noble gathering is that the improvement of the remuneration and conditions of service of our judicial officers is uppermost on the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari,” Malami said in his address at the 2022 Court of Appeal Annual Legal Year.

According to a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Umar Gwandu, the AGF said that the ongoing process will be completed, in accordance with extant constitutional and statutory provisions.

He said the available appropriation figures also bear testament to the fact of a progressively upward review of annual budgetary appropriation to the judiciary under Buhari.

Malami said while the budget of the Judiciary declined from N95 billion in 2010 to N68 billion in 2014, there was an upward swing in 2015 from N73 billion to N120 billion in 2022 (being the highest in the history of the judiciary).

READ ALSO: Gunmen Attack Ifeanyi Ubah’s Convoy In Anambra, Several Aides Killed

“The Federal Government under the leadership of President Buhari will not rest on its oars in its quest for increased funding for the judiciary.

“I am also gladdened that His Lordship has inaugurated a 13-man Electoral Judicial Manual Committee that will see to the issuance of the Maiden Edition of the Electoral Judicial Manual, which will provide an operational framework and reference guide for the determination of election petitions,” he said.

Back in June, Channels Television reported that 14 Justices of the Supreme Court wrote a protest letter to the then-Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, lamenting the parlous state of their welfare. The controversy generated was followed by the resignation of Muhammad. The President immediately appointed Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as acting CJN.

CJN Absent At NJI Training Amid Resignation Report

A file photo of Justice Tanko Muhammad.

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, on Monday failed to show up at the training of judges on Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Justice Muhammad’s absence at the training organised by the National Judicial Institute (NJI) comes amid reports that he had resigned from the highest judicial office in the land.

As the usual practice, the training sessions of judges by the institute are usually declared open by the CJN or any of his representatives.

While the CJN did not send any representative to the event, no justice of the Supreme Court was sighted at the training held in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

READ ALSO: Justice Tanko Muhammad Resigns As CJN

In the absence of Justice Muhammad and any of his representatives, the Administrator of the institute, Justice Salisu Garba, declared the session open.

Earlier, Channels Television reported that Justice Muhammad had resigned as the Chief Justice of Nigeria. Sources said he resigned on Sunday night, citing ill-health as the reason for his decision.

While arrangements are reported ongoing to swear in the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, sources said a formal announcement would be made to that effect.

Until his resignation, according to reports, Justice Muhammad was seriously ill. News of his resignation broke barely a week after 14 justices of the Supreme Court wrote to him to lament the dilapidated state of affairs in the apex court.

In the leaked letter, the justices alleged that Justice Muhammad failed to address the issues raised despite drawing his attention to them.

They had complained of a lack of residential accommodation and vehicles at the court, alleging that the CJN was gallivanting with his ‘spouse, children and personal staff’ while not allowing them to travel with an assistant on foreign trips.

The justices also decried the lack of legal research assistants despite the magnitude of cases being adjudicated, in addition to being confined to work between the hours of 8am to 4pm daily without adequate power supply and lack of diesel to power generator.

All these allegations were, however, rebutted by an aide to the CJN.

Judiciary Open To Capacity Building Initiative For Officers – CJN

A file photo of the CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, has said the judiciary is open to initiatives aimed at improving and strengthening the capacity of judicial officers in the handling of cases on emerging crime trends in the country.

The CJN made the request at the weekend while playing host to a visiting delegation of US officials led by the ambassador to Nigeria, Ms. Mary Beth Leonard.

Some of those emerging crimes, the CJN said include cybercrime, cross-jurisdictional infringement of Intellectual property rights, and cases related to cybersecurity and espionage.

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The CJN added that judges in the country require training on block technology and online dispute resolution as it affects e-commerce which is becoming a challenge due to inadequate awareness of technology and technical abilities and capacity.

He requested workshops that would border on Copyright Law in the new digital environment for judicial officers and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards relating to intellectual property disputes.

‘’Capacity building for our judicial officers is our priority, while the development of the capacity of our research assistants and other staff of the National Judicial Institute, who are fully involved in these training programmes, is also very important.

‘’Your Excellency, without taking the cat out of your bag, I want to assure you that our doors are always wide open to welcome proposals that will be beneficial to the development of the Rule of Law and the overall growth of the Judiciary of this country.

“The National Judicial Institute will never relent in its efforts to serve as the principal focal point of judicial activities on issues relating to the promotion of efficiency, uniformity, and improvement in the quality of judicial services in our courts’’, the CJN stated.

The U.S. Ambassador said, “this courtesy call is an opportunity to encourage the Nigerian Judiciary to continue collaborating with the United States Mission, including in raising the profile of intellectual property (IP) protection which is essential for Nigeria’s development and international partnerships’’.

She said the US is looking to increase its capacity building engagement on cybersecurity issues, adding that her country is interested in continued collaboration with the judiciary and courts through its International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Office (INL) and Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training (OPDAT).

Ms. Leonard hinted that the U.S. was exploring how best to support Nigeria’s judicial processes during the 2023 elections.

The justices of the Supreme Court, who accompanied the CJN to receive the U.S. delegation are Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, Inyang John Okoro, Amina Adamu Augie, Ejembi Eko, Uwani Musa Abba-Aji, M.L.Garba, Helen Ogunwumiju, Abdu Aboki, Adamu Jauro and Emmanuel A. Agim.

Others are the Administrator of NJI, Justice Salisu Garba Abdullahi, President of National Industrial Court, Justice Benedict Kanyip, Secretary of National Judicial Council, Ahmed Gambo Sale, NJI Secretary, Abubakar Maidama and the Acting Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Barr Hajio Sarki Bello.

CJN To Malami: Judiciary Can’t Be Blamed For Delay In High-Profile Cases

A file photo of the CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, on Tuesday, absolved the judiciary of delay in the handling of high-profile corruption cases.

Justice Muhammad’s comments followed an accusation by the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, that judges were still delaying timeous hearing and determination of such cases, particularly concerning Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).

Malami had during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, blamed the judiciary for the protracted trial of high-profile corruption cases.

But barely 24 hours, the CJN said Malami’s criticism of the judiciary for the delays suffered in court by high-profile corruption cases, was one-sided.

READ ALSO: Petrol Supply With Excess Methanol Cause Of Fuel Scarcity, Says FG

“The position of the Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) that the judiciary be held responsible for delays in the trial and delivery of judgements on corruption cases involving politically exposed individuals appears to be one-sided,” the statement by the CJN’s spokesperson, Ahuraka Isah, read.

The CJN explained that the lapses on the part of the executive arm of government contributed to the delays in cases.

According to him, the constitutional responsibility of the judiciary does not involve crime detection and investigation, while referencing the serial disregard of court orders by the executive.

This is even as he stated that the judiciary does not have “a garrison command to fight its cause or enforce its orders and decisions.”

“The Judiciary has an internal mechanism for budget control and implementation. The judiciary defends its budget before the senate and the House of Representatives Committees on Judiciary at the National Assembly, besides the initial vetting by the executive.

“The judiciary has an internal mechanism for budget control and implementation. Each Court and judicial body has a budget unit, the account department, internal audit, Due Process Unit, as well as Departmental Tenders Board.

“There is also a Due Process Committee at the NJC (National Judicial Council) and the Judicial Tenders Board that award contracts on expenditure above the approval limit of the accounting officers of the Courts and judicial bodies.

“These layers of control were established by the Judiciary to ensure transparency, accountability and effective budget implementation. The type of transparency that the Federal Government has stressed,” the CJN added.

Desist From Giving Incessant Ex-Parte Orders, CJN Tells Judges

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad has called on judges in the country to desist from giving incessant ex-parte orders in order not to project the judiciary in a bad light.

He said this on Monday during the 2021 All Nigeria Judges’ Conference in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The CJN said the judges must rise and restore the public confidence bestowed on them by desisting from giving incessant ex-parte orders that have portrayed the judiciary in a bad light.

He further stressed that it is important to have an incorruptible judiciary, as it is the desire of the citizenry that justice must be done without delay at all times, and be seen to have been done.

The CJN added that judicial officers need to rise to the challenge and restore public confidence in the ability to dispense justice without fear or favour and in line with the knowledge and understanding of the law.

He stated that the creditable performance of the Judiciary and its timely intervention prevented the present democratic status of the country from collapsing

He also called for more funding for the judiciary.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, promises more funding to the judiciary.

NJC Recommends Appointment Of 28 Judges, Issues Strict Warning To Two Jurists

A Photo of the NJC building

 

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the appointment of 26 judges across the federation.

In a statement issued on Friday by its spokesman, Soji Oye, the council also issued a strict warning to two judges.

According to the statement, the NJC took the decisions after a meeting held on March 17-18 under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Ibrahim Muhammad.

“The National Judicial Council under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad CFR, at its 94 th Meeting held on 17 to 18 March 2021, considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee and resolved to recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and the Governors of Rivers, Nasarawa, Kogi, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Delta States twenty-six (26) successful candidates for appointment as Justices of Court of Appeal and Heads of Court in Nigeria,” the statement partly read.

READ ALSO: FG Remains Resolute In Tackling Abductions Of Schoolchildren, Says Buhari

“Council decided to issue strong warning letters to Hon. Justices Mufutau Olokoba and M. A. Savage of the Lagos State High Court.

“Hon. Justice Olokoba was reprimanded and also put on the watch list of the Council for his failure to deliver judgement within the Constitutional period of 90 days and Hon. Justice Savage was reprimanded for not being in charge of his Court.”

SEE FULL STATEMENT BELOW:

PRESS RELEASE

18 March 2021

 NJC recommends the appointment of twenty-six (26) Judicial Officers, eighteen (18) Justices of the Court of Appeal and eight (8) Heads of Court; Empanels Committee to investigate one Judge; Issues two strong warning letters to Judges

The National Judicial Council under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad CFR, at its 94th Meeting held on 17 to 18 March 2021, considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee and resolved to recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and the Governors of Rivers, Nasarawa, Kogi, Jigawa, Ebonyi and the Delta States twenty-six (26) successful candidates for appointment as Justices of Court of Appeal and Heads of Court in Nigeria.

They are as follows:

2

  1. EIGHTEEN (18) JUSTICES, COURT OF APPEAL
  2. i) Hon. Justice Bature Isah Gafai
  3. ii) Hon. Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Sirajo

iii) Hon. Justice Waziri Abdul-Azeez

  1. iv) Hon. Justice Yusuf Alhaji Bashir
  2. v) Hon. Justice Usman A. Musale
  3. vi) Hon. Justice Jauro Ibrahim Wakili

vii) Hon. Justice Abba Bello Mohammed

viii) Hon. Grand Kadi Mohammed Danjuma

  1. ix) Hon. Justice Danlami Zama Senchi
  2. x) Hon. Justice Mohammed Lawal Abubakar
  3. xi) Hon. Justice Hassan Muslim Sule

xii) Hon. Justice Amadi Kenneth Ikechukwu

xiii) Hon. Justice Peter Oyinkenimiemi Affen

xiv) Hon. Justice Sybil Onyeji Nwaka Gbagi

  1. xv) Hon. Justice Olasumbo Olanrewaju Goodluck

xvi) Hon. Justice Banjoko Adebukunola Adeoti Ibironke

xvii) Hon. Justice Olabode Abimbola Adegbehingbe

xviii) Hon. Justice Bola Samuel Ademola

  1. CHIEF JUDGE, FCT, ABUJA
  2. i) Hon. Justice Salisu Garba Abdullahi
  3. CHIEF JUDGE, RIVERS STATE
  4. i) Hon. Justice Simeon Chibuzor Amadi
  5. CHIEF JUDGE, NASARAWA STATE
  6. i) Hon. Justice Aisha Bashir Aliyu
  7. CHIEF JUDGE, KOGI STATE
  8. i) Hon. Justice Sunday Omeiza Otu
  9. CHIEF JUDGE, JIGAWA STATE
  10. i) Hon. Justice Umar Maigari Sadiq
  11. CHIEF JUDGE, EBONYI STATE
  12. i) Hon. Justice Ngene Anagu Elvis
  13. CHIEF JUDGE, DELTA STATE
  14. i) Hon. Justice Theresa T. Obiajulu Ogochukwu Diai
  15. PRESIDENT, CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL,

DELTA STATE

  1. i) Hon. Justice Patience Onuwa Elumeze

4 All recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR and their respective State Governors and confirmation by the National Assembly and the respective States Houses of Assembly.

Council at the Meeting deliberated on the Reports on 24 petitions written against 29 Judges presented by its Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee and decided to empanel an investigation Committee against one Judge and issued two strong warning letters against 2 Judges of the Federal and State High Courts. It also resolved to set up a Medical Board to ascertain the health status of one Judge.

Council decided to issue strong warning letters to Hon. Justices Mufutau Olokoba and M. A. Savage of the Lagos State High Court.

5 Hon. Justice Olokoba was reprimanded and also put on the watch list of the Council for his failure to deliver judgement within the Constitutional period of 90 days and Hon. Justice Savage was reprimanded for not being in charge of his Court.

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

The dismissed petitions were against Hon. Justices Rita Nosakhare Pemu, Ita G. Mbaba and Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua all of Owerri Division of the Court of Appeal; Hon. Justices O. O. Oguntoyinbo and A. Lewis- Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice Anslem A. Nwaigwe, Chief Judge of Ebonyi State, Hon. Justices M. A. Abubakar, Binta Bawa Rijau of Niger State High

6 Court, Hon. Justice Maurice Odey Eneji of Cross River State and Hon. Justice Kulu Aliyu, Chief Judge, Zamfara State.

Other petitions dismissed were those written against Hon. Justice S. O. Falola of Osun State Judiciary; Hon. Justices C. C. Okaa, S. N. Odili and P. C. Obiorah, all of Anambra State High Court; Hon. Justice Chukwuemeka – Chikeka, Hon. Justice Ijeoma O. Agugua, Acting Chief Judge of Imo State; Hon. Justice Y. A. Adesanya of the Lagos State Judiciary and Hon. Justices Godwin O. Ollor and S. H. Aprioku of Rivers State High Court.

Similarly, Council dismissed petitions written against Hon. Justices Hadiza H. Ali-Jos, E. B. Omotoso, I. Ityonyiman, W. O. Animasahun, A. A. Aderibigbe and Hon Kadi M. Y. Usman who served in two Election Petition Tribunals.

7 Council also received notifications of the retirement of seventeen (17) Judicial Officers and notifications of death of three Judges from the Federal and State Judiciaries.

Soji Oye, Esq

Director, Information

CJN Tanko Muhammad Tests Positive For COVID-19, Says Justice Saulawa

FILE PHOTO: The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, speaks during the inauguration of Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem as the President of the Court of Appeal in Abuja on June 19, 2020.

 

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.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Sanwo-Olu Is Responding Well To Treatment, Says Abayomi

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.

CJN Swears In Eight New Supreme Court Justices

A file photo of the CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, has sworn in eight new Justices of the Supreme Court.

The swearing-in ceremony held on Friday at the Supreme Court in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Shortly after the eight justices took turn to take their oath of office and oath of allegiance to the Nigerian Constitution, the CJN gave his remarks.

Justice Muhammad warned the newly appointed justices of the apex court to shun extraneous considerations while discharging their duties.

The justices, who were recently elevated from the Court of Appeal bench, comprise seven men and one woman, as well as five appointees from the North and three from the South.

They include Lawal Garba (North West), Helen Ogunwumiju (South West), Abdu Aboki (North West), and Mohammed Saulawa (North West).

Others are Adamu Jauro (North East), Samuel Oseji (Souty South), Tijani Abubakar (North East), and Emmanuel Agim (South South).

He was also confident that the new justices would remain morally upright as judicial officers with high integrity.

The courtroom was filled to capacity as lawyers, friends and associates of the newly appointed Supreme Court justices thronged the court to witness the swearing-in ceremony.

Notable among those present was a former Director-General of the Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Professor Epiphany Azinge, as well as the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, among others.

The recent inauguration of the judicial officers has raised the number of justices of the Supreme Court from 12 to 20.

CJN Orders Speedy Trial Of Cases, Decongestion Of Custodial Centres

A file photo of the CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

 

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, has ordered the heads of various courts to immediately speed up the trial of cases and decongestion of custodial centres in the country.

In a statement personally signed by him on Friday, he said there was a need to take the urgent measures in view of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Justice Muhammad, who is also the Chairman of the National Judicial Council, explained that the United Nations had called for the reduction of the population of prison inmates to aid physical distancing in such facilities.

According to him, records show that Nigeria has about 74,127 inmates at various custodial centres and 52,226 are Awaiting Trial Persons (ATPs).

The CJN was worried that most of the centres were housing inmates beyond their capacities and the congested facilities were harmful to the health of the inmates.

He, therefore, directed the heads of courts to urgently visit all custodial and correctional centres within their jurisdictions to identify and release deserving inmates, where that has not been done already.

Justice Muhammad recommended the conditional and unconditional release, as well as payment of fines of awaiting trial persons depending on the categories they fall within.

He also asked the justices to forward a report of their visits to him for compilation and onward transmission to the relevant authorities.

Read the full statement by the CJN below:

RE: URGENT NEED FOR SPEEDY TRIAL OF CASES AND DECONGESTION OF CUSTODIAL CENTRES

Ref. No. NJC/CIR/HOC/II/662  15th May 2020

To: All Chief Judges,

States Judiciaries and FCT.

 

I wish to draw Your Lordships attention to the need to take urgent measures towards the speedy trial of cases and decongestion of custodial centres in the country in view of COVID-19 Pandemic.

Recently, the United Nations called on countries of the World to consciously reduce the population of prison inmates since physical distancing and self-isolation in such conditions are practically impossible.

From available records, the inmates’ population at various custodial centres across the country presently stands at about 74,127 out of which 52,226 are Awaiting Trial Persons (ATPs).

Most of these custodial centres are presently housing inmates beyond their capacities and the overcrowded facilities pose a potent threat to the health of the inmates and the public in general in view of the present circumstances, hence the need for urgent steps to bring the situation under control.

Considering the above, it has become imperative for Your Lordships to embark on an immediate visit to all custodial/correctional centres within your respective States to identify and release deserving inmates, where that has not been done already.

During the requested visit, the Chief Judges are enjoined to consider the conditional or unconditional release of Awaiting Trial Persons who have spent 6 years or more in custody.

ATPs who have no confirmed criminal cases against them, aged inmates and terminally ill may be discharged.

It is expected that particular attention should be on the aged, those with health issues, low-risk offenders, those with no sufficient legal basis to remain in custody, inmates convicted for minor offences with or without the option of fines and inmates who have less than 3 years term left to serve having served a substantial term of their service for offences that attract 5 years and above.

Payment of fines may be made in favour of inmates convicted of lesser offences with the option of fine, who are in custody because of their inability to pay such fines.

The list of deserving inmates as provided by the Correctional Service Formations across the Country with above criteria is hereby attached for your guidance.

A report on the proposed visits is required to be forwarded to me for compilation and onward transmission to Presidential Committee on Correctional Service Reform and Decongestion Secretariat, Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja.

Finally, there is the need to ensure that Your Lordships direct lower courts to comply with requirements of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act/law in issuing remand warrants in criminal cases especially in cases which are not within their jurisdiction.

This will regulate the volume of entry of Awaiting Trial Inmates into custodial centres.

Hon. Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR

Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman

National Judicial Council

CJN Extends Suspension Of Court Sittings Over Coronavirus

A file photo of the CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, has extended the suspension of court sittings till further notice.

This was contained in a statement by the CJN on Monday evening.

According to the CJN, the extension is necessary because of the measures in place to fight COVID-19.

“In view of the fact that the initial two weeks suspension of courts sittings will expire on 7th April 2020, I hereby extend the suspension of court sittings till further notice, given the lockdown measure put in place by Federal and some state governments to curb the spread of COVID-19,” the CJN’s statement read in part.

Despite the extension, the CJN said courts would sit for urgent and time-bound matters.

“Your lordships are, however, to note that courts are expected to sit particularly to dispense matters that are urgent, essential or time-bound in line with our extant laws,” the CJN, who is also the Chairman of the National Judicial Council, added.

The extension comes two weeks after Justice Muhammad ordered all heads of courts in the country to suspend court sittings.

The initial suspension took effect on March 24.

NJC Suspends Court Proceedings Over Coronavirus

A file photo of the CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

 

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has suspended all court proceedings across the country as part of the measures to protect the nation’s judicial institutions from coronavirus.

According to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, the move is to take effect from Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

Justice Muhammad, who is also NJC Chairman, directed all heads of courts to ensure compliance for an initial period of two weeks.

READ ALSO: Access Bank Closes Branch After Visitor Tested Positive To COVID-19

In a statement posted on NJC website on Monday, the CJN asked courts to only entertain Despite the suspension however, court will only entertain “matters that are urgent, essential or time bound according to the nation’s extant laws.”

Justice Muhammad also directed all federal judicial bodies to continue working while ensuring that members of the public coming for official matters.

Similarly, meetings and conferences are expected not to exceed the recommended number of 50.

After Judgement On Imo Election, PDP Asks CJN To Step Down

Justice Tanko Muhammad

 

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on Justice Tanko Muhammad to step down as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC).

This comes two days after the CJN chaired a seven-man panel of justices of the Supreme Court which presided over the appeal from the Imo State governorship election.

The National Chairman of the PDP, Mr Uche Secondus, asked the CJN to step down while reacting to the judgment of the apex court during a press conference on Thursday in Abuja.

He explained that the opposition party made the demand in order to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the country.

READ ALSOSupreme Court Nullifies Election Of Ihedioha, Declares Hope Uzodinma Imo Governor

Secondus said, “In other to avoid an imminent breakdown of law and order, the PDP demands that Justice Tanko Muhammad immediately steps down as CJN and chairman of the National Judicial Council as Nigerians have lost confidence in him and a Supreme Court under his leadership.”

 

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court nullified the election of the PDP candidate, Mr Emeka Ihedioha, as the governor of Imo State.

It, thereafter, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Ihedioha and give same to Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Party (APC).

The judgement has sparked mixed reactions from the ruling and opposition parties, as the APC celebrated the victory while the PDP rejected the decision of the apex court.

In his reaction, the PDP national chairman alleged that the judgement was a product of manipulation, and clear coup d’etat against the will of the people of Imo State.

He demanded that the decision of the Supreme Court on the election be reviewed and reversed in the interest of justice.

Secundus also asked the CJN and members of the panel to recuse themselves from the pending petitions on Sokoto, Bauchi, Benue, Adamawa, Kano, and Plateau States.

“Justice Tanko must not head the panel to determine the remaining election petitions before the Supreme Court,” he said.

The PDP national chairman added, “We demand that Justice Tanko Mohammed, the CJN and his colleagues on the Imo governorship panel recuse themselves from the remaining cases involving PDP in the Supreme Court.”