Senate confirms Tanko as chief justice of Nigeria

The Senate has confirmed Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

Tanko’s confirmation came after he was screened by the upper chamber’s Committee of the Whole on Wednesday.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday asked the Senate to confirm Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

“I have the honour to forward the nomination of Honourable Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed for confirmation as Chief Justice of Nigeria,” Buhari said in a letter read by Senate president Ahmed Lawan.

“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.”

Buhari swore in Tanko Mohammed as the acting CJN in January 2019 following the suspension and later sack of former CJN Walter Onnoghen.

Onnoghen was found culpable of false declaration of his assets and failure to include some domiciliary accounts managed by the Standard Chartered Bank.

Buhari said Onnoghen’s suspension was necessary because of the ‘respect’ his government has for the Rule of Law.

“In line with this administration’s avowed respect for the Rule of Law, I have wholeheartedly obeyed the Order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal dated 23rd January 2019,” Buhari said.

Onnoghen, however, alleged that his assets declaration form CCB1 submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) was tampered with by agents of the Nigerian Government.

The documents he alleged were tampered with are the CCB assets declaration forms of 2014 and 2015.

Onnoghen resigned in April, two months after he was sued for false declaration of asset.

President Buhari accepted the voluntary retirement of the country’s former top judge in June, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu said.

Mohammed then acted in his stead. President Buhari said he is hopeful of Mohammed’s confirmation as CJN.

“Please accept, Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration,” Buhari said.

The National Judicial Council in a statement by its spokesman Soji Oye recommended Mohammed’s confirmation as CJN to President Buhari.