No date yet for S’Court justices inauguration – NJC

The National Judicial Council has said no date has been fixed for the swearing-in of the newly appointed 11 Justices of the Supreme Court.

The Council said that the speculation that Monday, January 16, has been picked for the inauguration of the Justices did not emanate from the NJC.

A statement on Friday by the NJC’s Director of Information, Soji Oye, noted that the date for the swearing-in of the Justices would be made public at the appropriate time.

The statement partly read, “The attention of the National Judicial Council has been drawn to a trending story purportedly informing the public that the newly appointed 11 Supreme Court Justices would be sworn in on Monday 16 January 2023.

“The Council by this medium expressly denies the news as it did not emanate from the Council or the Office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council, Hon. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola.

“The date for the swearing-in of the Justices will be made public at the appropriate time. Members of the public should please disregard the trending news.”

The President, Bola Tinubu, had asked the Senate to confirm 11 justices recommended for the Supreme Court bench.

Tinubu’s request was contained in a letter read by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, during a plenary.

The NJC headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria recommended the 11 nominees to President Tinubu.

The nominees have to be cleared by the Senate before they can be sworn in as Supreme Court justices.

The NJC made the recommendation after receiving a list of 22 nominees to fill the vacant positions at the Supreme Court.

The recommended Justices are Haruna Tsammani (North-East) who chaired the Presidential Election Petition Court, Moore Adumein (South-South), Jummai Sankey (North-Central), Chidiebere Uwa (South-East) and Chioma Nwosu-Iheme (South-East)

Others are Obande Ogbuinya (South-East), Stephen Adah (North-Central), Habeeb Abiru (South-West), JJamilu Tukur (North-West), Abubakar Umar (North-West) and Mohammed Idris (North-Central).

On Thursday, December 21, 2023, the Senate cleared all 11 names.

However, the judges are yet to be sworn in to begin their duties in the apex court.

Currently, the Supreme Court bench operates with 10 justices which fall below the statutory requirement of 21 judges.

The current Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, has pledged to ensure the court has its constitutional number of judges.