Twenty-six judges recommended by the National Judicial Council are expected to be sworn in after approval by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd).
The judges’ appointments are also expected to be approved by their respective state governors and confirmed by the National Assembly and the respective state Houses of Assembly.
The National Judicial Council had after a meeting on March 17 and 18 under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, recommended the appointment of 26 judges.
A statement on Friday by the NJC spokesman, Soji Oye, also revealed that the council issued a strict warning to two judges.
“The National Judicial Council under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Dr. Justice I.T. Muhammad CFR, at its 94th meeting held on 17-18 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 read in part.
The council said it also decided to issue strong warning letters to Justices Mufutau Olokoba and M. A. Savage of the Lagos State High Court.
The statement read, “Hon. Justice Olokoba was reprimanded and also put on the watch list of the council for his failure to deliver judgment within the constitutional period of 90 days, and Hon. Justice Savage was reprimanded for not being in charge of his court.”
The NJC statement revealed that 18 judges were recommended as justices of the Court of Appeal, namely Justice Bature Gafai, Justice Muhammad Sirajo, Justice Waziri Abdul-Azeez, Justice Yusuf Bashir, Justice Usman Musale, Justice Jauro Wakili, Justice Abba Mohammed, Grand Kadi Mohammed Danjuma, and Justice Danlami Senchi.
Others are Justice Mohammed Abubakar, Justice Hassan Sule, Justice Amadi Ikechukwu, Justice Peter Affen, Justice Sybil Gbagi, Justice Olasumbo Goodluck, Justice Banjoko Ibironke, Justice Olabode Adegbehingbe, and Justice Bola Ademola.
Also recommended for appointment are Justice Salisu Abdullahi as the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; Justice Simeon Amadi as the Chief Judge of Rivers State; Justice Aisha Aliyu as the Chief Judge of Nasarawa State; Justice Sunday Otu as the Chief Judge of Kogi State; and Justice Umar Sadiq as the Chief Judge of Jigawa State.
Also recommended for appointment are Justice Ngene Elvis as the Chief Judge of Ebonyi State; Justice Theresa Diai as the Chief Judge of Rivers State; and Justice Patience Elumeze as the President, Customary Court of Appeal, Delta State.
“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,” the statement read.
It added that the NJC, at the meeting held on March 17 and 18, 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 two 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,” the statement added.