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Onnoghen: Buhari Extends Acting CJN, Muhammad’s Tenure By 3 Months

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the appointment of the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Mr. Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad by another three months.

The development followed a request this week, for extension by President Buhari to the National Judicial Council (NJC) – a statutory body which is responsible for recommendation of nominees for the office of CJN.

The constitution requires Mr. President to approve recommendation for appointment of nominee to the position of CJN.

Also, the constitution allows the tenure of an acting CJN to last for three months. President Buhari appointed Justice Muhammad on the acting capiacity Januray 25, making his reign to terminate next week Thursday.

NJC spokesman Mr. Soji Oye confirmed Buhari’s request in a statement he issued Saturday.

The statement however denied a media report that the NJC plans to meet next week to deliberate on the extension of Justice Muhammad’s term as the acting CJN.

Mr Oye also in the statement confirmed that Mr President’s request for extension has been granted.

The statement read in part: “Contrary to the above, the Council actually met on Thursday 18th April, 2019 and at the 88th Meeting considered and approved the request of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for the extension of the Appointment of Hon. Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR, as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria for another three (3) months and Council has since forwarded its approval to the President.

The appointment of Justice Muhammad as the acting CJN followed the suspension of his immediate predecesor, Justice Walter Onnoghen, over the allegations (then) of non and false assets declaration.

He has since been facing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) and convicted Thursday on the charges filed against him.

The Justice Danladi Umar-led CCT-panel during the ruling sacked Onnoghen; held that he should cease to be the Chairman of NJC and National Judicial Service Commission.

Onnoghen was also barred from occupying any public office for 10 years. The court also ruled that he should forfeit all the moneies lodged in his six foreign accounts.

Prior to Thursday ruling, the NJC has recommended resignation to the convicted CJN.

Many however frowned at this and considered the approach as a soft landing for the Cross Rivers State born ex-CJN.




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