The National Judicial Council (NJC) has issued Justice Walter Onnoghen and the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammed, a seven day ultimatum to respond to different petitions written against them.
In a statement by the council’s Director of Information, Soji Oye, the NJC at its emergency meeting on Tuesday presided over by a former president of the Appeal Court, Justice Umar Abdullahi considered four petitions filed at its Secretariat against Hon. Mr. Justice W.S.N. Onnoghen, Hon. Mr. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad and Hon. Danladi Yakubu Umar, Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
According to the statement, the 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, and in line with its procedure 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,” the statement added.
Below is the list of petition considered by the council and the names of the petitioners:
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.