President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a Justice of the Court of Appeal, Uwani Musa Abda Aji to the Supreme Court bench.
In compliance with the constitutional provisions, President Buhari has forwarded Abba Aji’s name to the Senate for confirmation.
This was revealed in a letter sent to the Senate by the President, which was read during plenary on Wednesday, reveals the verified Twitter handle of the Senate.
The tweet reads : “Senate President read a letter from President Buhari on “Appointment of Honorable Justice Musa Abaji as the justice of the supreme court of Nigeria.”
The National Judicial Council (NJC) had in October recommended to President Muhammadu Buhari, the elevation of Justice Uwani Musa Abba Aji from the Court of Appeal to the apex court.
The recommendation came barely 24 hours after the Council recommended to the President, dismissal of two judges, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court and Justice James Agbadu-Fishim of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.
The recommendation formed part of the decisions taken at the 87th meeting of the NJC held in Abuja between October 3 and 4 this year.
Justice Abba Aji is currently of the Enugu division of the Court of Appeal, is from Yobe State.
He was one of the eight judicial officers, who were directed by the NJC, to excuse themselves from duties, effective from November 2, 2016 on the request of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) pending the outcome of their investigation by the Department of State Services (DSS), on corruption allegation.
Justice Abba Aji and others were however directed to resume their duties on June 7, 2017 on the grounds that no charges were brought against them by the AGF at the conclusion of their investigation.
Sequel to its recommendation, the NJC in a subsequent statement clarified that Supreme Court designate, Aba-Aji was not being investigated by any security agency.
Apparently reacting to a publication by the Civic Society Network Against Corruption urging President Muhammadu Buhari not to forward Abba-Aji’s name to the Senate for confirmation, a Justice of the Supreme Court, NJC in a statement by its Director of Information Mr. Soji Oye, noted that the Justice of the Court of Appeal has since been sitting in Court and no Investigation Agency has filed any new allegation against His Lordship.
He added that Justice Aba-Aji’s international passport had been returned to him and he had been travelling outside the country without any hindrance.
This according to him signals that the investigation agencies have nothing new against His Lordship.
“The law of the land remains that no one is to be punished except for an offence established by due process of law. The National Judicial Council hereby re-affirms its commitment to zero tolerance for corruption which is the stand of The Honourable, The Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the Council, Hon. Mr. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen,” Oye stated.
The Group premised its objection to the appointment of Justice Abba-Aji to the Apex Court over an alleged corruption.