Justice Mohammed Mahmud Is Nigeria’s New CJN Elect


THE most senior justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Mohammed Mahmud, is the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN)-elect.

The Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC), last Thursday, nominated him to the National Judicial Council (NJC), as constitutionally required.

NJC will meet on Thursday to ratify his nomination and recommend him to President Goodluck Jonathan, who will send his name to the senate for confirmation and subsequent swearing in by the president.


531He will succeed the first female CJN in history, Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, who retires November 20, when she would hit the constitutional retirement age of 70 years.

Mahmud hails from Taraba State and expected to retire on November 10, 2016, when he would be 70 years.

As the practice, FJSC sent alongside his name, two other justices of the apex court, as standby, should Mahmud be rejected by either the recommending authority, NJC or the appointing authority, Jonathan.

The names which went with his were Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen and Mohammed Tanko.

If the succession-by-seniority arrangement is preserved till 2016, Onnoghen is expected to succeed Mahmud.

Onnoghen would be the first CJN from Southern Nigeria in 28 years, if he gets to succeed Mahmud and would be 70 years on December 22, 2020.

The council is also expected to appoint the outgoing Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Sunday Olorundahunsi, as a judge of Ondo State High Court, at the Thursday meeting.

Olorundahunsi, from Ondo, could not make it as a judge of the FCT High Court, due to what was officially said to be non-availability of slot for the South-West.

Though the office of Chief Registrar is not tenured, he once told the Sunday Tribune in an interview that he would exit the seat at the expiration of Mukhtar’s tenure.

He had served three Chief Justices— Aloysius Katsina-Alu, Dahiru Musdapher and the incumbent.

If the seniority arrangement is sustained, he is expected to be succeeded by Hajia Hajo Sarki.

Meanwhile, the council is also likely to set up a probe panel to investigate Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court over a petition against him on the handling of the judgement in the suit that led to a change of administration in Adamawa State.

It was learnt that a copy of the petition brought against him by the sacked acting governor of the state and incumbent Speaker of the House of Assembly, Umaru Fintiri, had been made available to him alongside a cover letter to state his own side of the story.

Ademola was accused of deliberately holding on to the said judgement to frustrate timeous appeal which could have ensured a superior decision before the cancelled governorship election in the state.

A statement issued by the Registrar of the court said the allegation was not true.




Source:Nigerian Tribune