The National Judicial Council (NJC) has issued a seven day ultimatum to the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, and the newly appointed acting Chief Justice, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, to respond to petitions against them.
The NJC in a communiqué after an emergency meeting on Tuesday following the recent development said that it received a petition against Onnoghen, two petitions against Muhammad, and one other petition against Danladi Umar, the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
The emergency meeting was presided over by Mr. Umaru Abdullahi, a former President of the Court of Appeal.
The petition against Mr. Umar of the CCT was however directed to the Judicial Service Commission since it is the appropriate constitutional body empowered to deal with it.
Read the details of the meeting below;
The National Judicial Council held an Emergency Meeting today and considered four (4) petitions filed at its Secretariat. The petitions are:
Petition against Hon. Mr. Justice W.S.N. Onnoghen, GCON by Zikhrillahi Ibrahim of Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civil Education;
“Petition against Hon. Mr. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, CFR by Centre for Justice and Peace Initiative;
Petition against Hon. Mr. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, CFR by Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, OON; and
Petition against Hon. Danladi Yakubu Umar, Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal by Centre for Justice and Peace Initiative.
Council referred the petition against Hon. Danladi Yakubu Umar to the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) which is the appropriate constitutional body empowered to deal with it.
In line with its procedure, Council also forwarded the petitions against Hon. Justices W.S.N. Onnoghen, GCON and I. T. Muhammad, CFR to them for their responses.
In view of the gravity of the matters involved, Council abridged the usual response period from fourteen (14) to seven (7) working days for the Hon. Justices to respond.
Hon. Mr. Justice W. S. N. Onnoghen, GCON and Hon. Mr. Justice I.T. Muhammad, CFR recused themselves from the meeting. Consequently, Council elected Hon. Mr. Justice Umaru Abdullahi, CON, former President of the Court of Appeal as Interim Chairman to preside over the meeting.
Council will reconvene on the 11th February 2019.
Soji Oye, Esq.