The acting Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Tanko Muhammad has claimed that President Buhari does not need the permission of the National Judicial Council to appoint him on acting capacity.
Muhammad made the claim in response to a query given to him by the NJC, the body constitutionally empowered to recommend the appointment of chief justices and heads of courts.
A group, Centre for Justice and Peace Initiative, had written a petition to the NJC, asking the council to remove Muhammad as a justice of the Supreme Court for allowing himself to be sworn in by the President without recourse to the NJC.
In his response, Justice Muhammad said the NJC ought to be consulted only when a substantive CJN is being appointed or re-appointed. He noted that Justice Walter Onnoghen remained the substantive CJN, adding that the latter was only suspended.
The acting CJN said if the Appeal Court or the Code of Conduct Tribunal reversed Onnoghen’s suspension, he would immediately step aside and return to his former position as a justice of the Supreme Court.