President Muhammadu Buhari has written a letter to the Senate seeking its confirmation of Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad as the substantive chief justice of Nigeria (CJN).
The letter was read at plenary yesterday by the Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan. Buhari’s letter came a day after the National Judicial Commission (NJC) recommended Justice Muhammad to the president for approval as the substantive CJN.
In a second letter, he also sent to the Senate, Buhari sought the Upper House confirmation of the appointment of 15 of his special advisers.
After its emergency meeting on Wednesday, the NJC recommended to the president the appointment of Justice Muhammad as the substantive CJN.
At the meeting which was initially presided over by the former president of the Court of Appeal, Justice Umaru Abdullahi, the NJC said that it 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 CJN.
Consequently, the council recommended Justice Muhammad for appointment, upon which the president requested the Senate for his confirmation.
In the letter, Buhari said:, “In accordance with Section 231 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), which gives the president the power to appoint a chief justice of Nigeria on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council and subject to the confirmation of the appointment by the Senate.
“I have the honour to forward the nomination of Honourable Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad for confirmation as chief justice of Nigeria.
“It is my hope that this request will receive the usual expeditious consideration of the distinguished Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.
Justice Muhammad was sworn in by President Buhari as acting CJN following his suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen as CJN on January 25, 2019 on the order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
In the second letter, Buhari said: “Pursuant to provision of Section 151 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) which confers on the president powers to appoint special advisers to assist him in the performance of his functions, I write to request the kind consideration of the distinguished Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to appoint 15 special advisers.
“While hoping that this request will receive the usual expeditious consideration of the distinguished Senate, please accept, Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”
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