…Recommends appointment of 8 other Heads of Court
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—-The National Judicial Council, NJC, on Wednesday, recommended the appointment of Justice Tanko Muhammad as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN.
The legal body okayed Justice Muhammad to assume full control of the judiciary after an emergency meeting it held in Abuja.
Justice Muhammad who is the most senior jurist on the Supreme Court bench, had since January 25, headed the judiciary as the Acting CJN.
He replaced the erstwhile CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen who was suspended from office by President Muhammadu Buhari following corruption allegations that were levelled against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB.
The NJC, in a statement that was signed by its Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye, said it equally recommended the appointment of eight other Heads of Court.
Oye revealed that a former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Umaru Abdullahi, presided over the emergency meeting.
He said the Council used the opportunity to implore State Executives to commence immediate implementation of Financial Autonomy for State Judiciary.
According to the statement, “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.
“They are: – Appointment of Chief Judge, Sokoto State High Court of Justice- Hon. Mr. Justice Muhammad S. Sifawa.
“Appointment of Chief Judge Lagos State High Court of Justice: Hon. Mr. Justice Kazeem O. Alogba.
“Appointment of Chief Judge, Anambra State High Court of Justice: Hon. Mr. Justice Ijem Onwuamaegbu.
“Appointment of Chief Judge, Ebonyi State High Court of Justice: Hon. Mr. Justice Nwaigwe A. Anselm.
“Appointment of Chief Judge, Niger State High Court of Justice: Hon. Mr. Justice Aliyu M. Mayaki.
“Appointment of Chief Judge, Taraba State High Court of Justice: Hon. Mr. Justice Filibus B. Andetur.
“Appointment of Grand Kadi, Sharia Court of Appeal, Kano: Hon. Kadi Tijjani Yusuf Yakasai.
“Appointment of Grand Kadi, Sharia Court of Appeal, Jigawa: 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, GCFR, 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”, the statement read.