The National Judicial Council (NJC) has cleared 11 Court of Appeal Justices for elevation to the Supreme Court.
NJC’s Director of Information, Soji Oye, said in a press statement on Wednesday, that the council took the decision at its 104th meeting after considering the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee.
According to Oye, the Wednesday’s meeting of the council, chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Olukayode Ariwoola, who doubles as NJC’s chairperson, also recommended some heads of courts and other judicial officers for federal and state courts in the country.
Currently, there are only 10 justices on the Supreme Court bench, which is 11 justices short of its full complement of 21 judges.
The recommendation of the 11 justices to fill the openings on the Supreme Court bench was made by the NJC to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who has the exclusive powers to approve the appointment of the candidates subject to Senate’s confirmation.
If the appointment of all the candidates are confirmed as soon as possible, the Supreme Court will have its full complement of 21 justices for the first time.
Senate’s screening of appointment justices has been more like a routine over the years. Therefore, an upset during screening of the candidates is unlikely.
The NJC is the statutory body vested with the responsibilities of hiring and disciplining erring judges in Nigeria.
The recommended justices are Jummai Hannatu Sankey (Plateau, Northcentral), Chidiebere Nwaoma Uwa (Abia, Southeast), Chioma Egondu Nwosu-Iheme (Imo, Southeast), Haruna Simon Tsammani (Bauchi, Northeast) and Moore Aseimo A. Adumein (Bayelsa, Southsouth).
Others are Obande Festus Ogbuinya (Ebonyi, Southeast), Stephen Jonah Adah (Kogi, Northcentral), Habeeb Adewale O. Abiru (Lagos, Southwest), Jamilu Yammama Tukur (Katsina, Northwest), Abubakar Sadiq Umar (Kebbi, Northwest) and Mohammed Baba Idris (Niger, Northcentral).
Minor changes were made to the list first sent to the NJC by the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC).
The NJC replaced Justice Muhammad Lawal Shuaibu (Jigawa, Northwest), with Justice Tukur, who was not on the original list; while Justice Nwosu-Iheme, who was on the reserve list, replaced Justice Anthony Ogakwu (Enugu, Southeast).
Tsammani was the presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division. He headed the five-member panel that determined the presidential election petitions.
Another notable name is Justice Idris, renowned as a brilliant and hardworking judge and son of a former CJN, Idris Kutigi. He was the judge who jailed former Abia State Governor Orji Ozor Kalu while sitting at the Federal High Court in Lagos.
Meanwhile, the following are recommended as Heads of Courts and other Judicial Officers for the Federal and State Courts in Nigeria.
ONE JUSTICE, COURT OF APPEAL
Hon. Justice Mohammed Ahmed Ramat
CHIEF JUDGE TARABA STATE
Hon. Justice Joel Filibus Agya
CHIEF JUDGE, KEBBI STATE
Hon. Justice Umar Abubakar
GRAND KADI, SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL, KEBBI STATE
Hon. Kadi Sadiq Usman Mukhtar
PRESIDENT, CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL, OGUN STATE
Hon. Justice A. O. Femi-Segun
PRESIDENT, CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL, TARABA STATE
Hon. Justice Alfred Yakubu
PRESIDENT, CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL, OYO STATE
Hon. Justice Tajudeen M. Abdulganiyu
ONE HIGH COURT JUDGE, BAYELSA STATE
Amaebi Ibomo Orukari
ONE HIGH COURT JUDGE, OGUN STATE
Akinyemi Martins Ayodele
THREE HIGH COURT JUDGES, CROSS RIVER STATE
Ama Edet Ekpo
Theresa Ansa Agom
Jalarth Ogar Agim
THREE KADIS, SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL, ZAMFARA STATE
Aminu Abdullahi Gusau
Usman Hassan Gummi
TWO KADIS, SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL, NASARAWA STATE
Abubakar Ahmad Tijjani
Aliyu Ibrahim Ebbema
NINE HIGH COURT JUDGES, KANO STATE;
Hauwa Lawal Umar
Musa Daihuru Mohammed
Farida Rabiu Danbappa
Halima Aliyu Nasir
Hanif Sanusi Yusuf
ONE JUDGE, CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL, BAYELSA STATE
Opokuma David Lawrence
FOUR HIGH COURT JUDGES, NASARAWA STATE
Esther Mami Ejeh
Ibrahim Dauda Shekarau
Musa Muhammad Dallah
Makama Tanze Benjamin
TWO JUDGES, CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL, OGUN STATE
Awoyomi Bolanle Adenike
Lawal Adeniyi Olusanya