Nigeria: Make Justice Tanko Substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria, NJC Tells Buhari

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the substantive appointment of Justice Ibrahim Tanko as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

The NJC made the recommendation after an emergency meeting on Monday.

The council also requested the implementation of financial autonomy of the judiciary in the states.

According to a statement signed by its director of communications, Soji Oye, the council said it also recommended the appointment of some state chief judges, among others.

"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," Mr Oye said.

Mr Tanko was sworn in as Chief Justice of Nigeria, on January 25, after the president announced the suspension of Walter Onnoghen from the position following allegations of misconduct.

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."

According to the statement; the NJC recommended the appointment of Justice Muhammad Sifawa as Chief Judge of Sokoto State, High Court, and Justice Kazeem O. Alogba as Chief Judge of the Lagos State High Court.

"Others recommended for appointment are Justice Justice Ijem Onwuamaegbu for the Anambra State High Court; Justice Nwaigwe A. Anselm, Ebonyi State High Court; Justice Aliyu M. Mayaki, Niger State High Court; Justice Filibus B. Andetur for the Taraba State High Court and Kadi Tijjani Yusuf Yakasai as the Grand Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal, Kano State; while Kadi Isa Jibrin Gantsa is to be appointed as Kadi of the Sharia Court in Jigawa State.

"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," the official said.

Mr Oye said the NJC also considered notifications for the retirement of some judges.

"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."

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