Why S/Court justices are yet to be inaugurated 48 days after Senate clearance

Why S/Court justices are yet to be inaugurated 48 days after Senate clearance

Some insights have emerged about the delayed inauguration of the newly appointed 11 justices confirmed by the Senate in December last year despite the gap in the Supreme Court.

 Daily Trust gathered that some issues of accommodation and logistics are part of the reasons for the delay in inaugurating the new justices.

With 10 out of the constitutionally required 21 justices left at the Supreme Court going into the appeals of last year’s general elections, public outcry led to an accelerated nomination and confirmation of the 11 justices.

The Senate on December 21, 2023, confirmed Haruna Tsammani (North East); Moore Adumein (South South); Jummai Sankey (North Central); Chidiebere Uwa (South East); and Chioma Nwosu-Iheme (South East).

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

A staff member of the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC), who pleaded anonymity, said the delay was to enable the justices conclude their outstanding cases at the Court of Appeal to avoid the Orji Uzor Kalu scenario in May 2020.

 He explained that the fiat issued to Justice Mohammed Idris, who was already elevated to the Court of Appeal to return under Section 396(7) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 to conclude Kalu’s trial was a fundamental breach of the constitution. 

“So, the Supreme Court management said let the justices go and complete their cases before being appointed,” he said.

 Explaining what he knows about the delay, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Murtala Abdulrasheed, said there was no release of funds for furnishing of comfortable apartments, offices and purchase of vehicles for the newly elevated justices.

 “The justices have not been provided with the tools to work; but what I heard is that by the end of this month, they will do all,” he said.

 A staff member of the Supreme Court, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed that none of the vehicles for the new justices has been purchased unlike previous appointments as each justice is usually given three SUVs.

 “They don’t come with their vehicles from the Court of Appeal; new ones had to be provided for them,” he said.

 He added that there is a petition against one of the justices, which is being sorted out. 

 Efforts made to obtain the reaction of the Director of Information of the Supreme Court, Dr Festus Akande were unsuccessful as he was said to be indisposed.

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