ABUJA — The National Judicial Council, NJC, yesterday made a u-turn on the plans by its sitting Chairman and Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, to administer the oath of office on his successor, Justice Aloysius Katsina Alu, on Thursday 31 December 2009 which coincided with his (Kutigi) retirement date.

In a fresh release issued yesterday by the Council, the swearing-in of the new CJN, Justice Katsina-Alu is to take place today (Wednesday) as against tomorrow (Thursday) earlier announced by NJC.

The fresh statement issued, yesterday, on the issue reads: “The swearing-in of Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu as the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Justice Isa Ayo Salami as the President of the Court of Appeal has been shifted from 31 Thursday, December 2009 to 30 Wednesday,   December 2009, at the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“The change in the date is informed by reasons beyond the control of the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council,” the Secretary of the Council said.

Although many senior lawyers, particularly mem-bers of the inner bar, including an Ibadan-based lawyer, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN); former Attorney-General of Edo State, Chief Charles Edowanwa (SAN); Femi Falana, Bamidele Aturu, among others, had argued that it would not only be illogical but also illegal for the incumbent CJN to swear in the incoming one, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Mike Kaase Andoakaa, yesterday, dismissed their reasoning as pure balderdash.
By Ise-Oluwa Ige


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