The National Judicial Council (NJC) has on Wednesday at an emergency meeting recommended the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Tanko Muhammad to President Muhammadu Buhari to be appointed as the substantive CJN.
The Council also recommended to Buhari names of judges to be appointed as Chief Judges and Grand Khadis for eight states, which included Lagos, Anambra, Ebonyi, Niger, Taraba, Kano, and Jigawa states.
The NJC further hailed the President for his unequivocal position on the financial autonomy for the state’s Judiciary, and appeal to the various state executives to, as a matter of urgency, begin its immediate implementation.
In a statement signed by its Director of Communications, Soji Oye, the NJC said: “The National Judicial Council rose today from an Emergency Meeting to recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the appointment of Hon. Dr Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR, as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.”
Justice Muhammad, who is the most senior jurist on the Supreme Court bench, had since January 25, headed the judiciary as the Acting CJN.
According to the statement, two Justices, including Mr Tanko, were screened for the position.
“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.
“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,” Oye said.
“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,” he added.