Press Statement: NJC Will Be Acting Contemptuously To Extend Justice Tanko’s Tenure as Acting CJN

Our attention has been drawn to the National Judicial Council’s ongoing two days meeting which started on Wednesday 17/4/2019 to Thursday 18/4/2019 to extend the tenure of Honourable Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad as acting Chief Justice of Nigeria

It is on record that Malcolm Omirhobo Foundation on Friday 12/4/2019 filed Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/420/2019 against the NJC and 6 Ors. at the Federal High Court Abuja Judicial Division which was served on the NJC, FJSC , the Nigerian Senate, the AG, the FGN and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Tuesday 16/4/2019 and Wednesday 17/4/2019 respectively.

The Suit basically is challenging the  recommendation of Honourable Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad by the NJC for appointment to the President for the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

That in the Suit it is the Plaintiff’s contention that Honourable Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad is not a fit and proper person to be recommended for appointment to the office of the Chief justice of Nigeria by the NJC, having violated the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and misconducted himself by accepting the President’s appointment of him as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria when the office was not vacant.

That it is the Plaintiff’s contention also that Honourable Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad conducted himself in a manner that casted doubt of confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Judiciary and having made himself a tool used in violation of the Constitution of Nigeria, he is not a proper and fit person to be recommended by the NJC to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for appointment as the substantive CJN.

Furthermore it is the Plaintiff’s contention that the NJC and FJSC in their recommendation of Honourable Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad to the President for appointment to the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria breached the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Judicial Code of Conduct, the Judicial Policy, Procedures and Rules for appointment of Judicial officers.

The above we submit cast a pall on the entire exercise as it reeks of double standard, lawlessness, recklessness, partiality and lack of transparency. and above all, the loss of confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Judiciary in public eye.

For the NJC to meet to decide to extend the tenure of the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria will be tantamount and contemptuous of the court whereas the matter is sub judiced.

We therefore call on the NJC to be on the side of civilization by ensuring that the independence of the Nigerian Judiciary is secured and promoted, so that our nascent Democracy can be sustained.

 

Malcolm Omirhobo

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