The National Judicial Council has given seven days to the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, to respond to a petition written against him.
The NJC also gave the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Muhammad, seven days to respond to a separate petition written against him.
The NJC said in a communique at the end of its emergency meeting on Tuesday that it received two petitions against Mr Muhammad and one against Mr Onnoghen. A fourth petition was written against the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar.
According to the NJC, it addressed three of the petitions and directed the one against Mr Umar to the Judicial Service Commission for further action.
The NJC confirmed PREMIUM TIMES report that its meeting was not attended by the acting CJN. It also said Mr Onnoghen excused himself from the meeting, like Mr Mohammed.
A former President of the Court of Appeal, Umaru Abdullahi, presided over Tuesday’s meeting.
See details of the meeting as sent to Premium Times by the Supreme Court spokesperson 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.