- …role of Politics in SC appointments
- …appoints 4 new Justices
- …Buhari’s emerging Supreme Court
Enugu Metro checks show that politics, not nepotism, influenced yesterday’s approval of four Supreme Court Justices by President Buhari.
The four justices approved by the President in yesterday 14 August appointments are replacements for justices that left the Court.
Before the appointments, the court had only 12 of its 16-member Justices left to sit.
Buhari’s new appointees are Mohammed Garba(North West), Tijani Abubakar(North East), Abdu Aboki(North West), and Mohammed M. Saulawa(North West).
The four justices that they are replacing are Kumai Akaahs(North-West), Amiru Sanusi(North-West), Paul Adamu Galunje(North-East), and Sidi Dauda Bage(North-Central).
Except for Justice Bage who left the Court to become Emir of Lafia, the other three retired on reaching mandatory age of 70 years.
Some Nigerian newspaper headlines had suggested nepotism in the appointments, because all are from the northern part of the country.
Politics May Have Played a Part
Politics may have played a part as the President had four different names waiting for approval as Supreme Court Justices
The Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC) had in October 2019 recommended four Justices for approval to move to the Supreme Court.
They include Justices Adamu Jauro (North-East); Emmanuel Agim (South-South); C. Oseji, (South-South) and Helen Ogunwumiju, (South-West).
The list was ignored by the President, forcing NJC to consider and forward a different set of names this time.
All current Justices of the Supreme Court are appointees of politicians in this Third Republic.
President Olusegun appointed the current Chief Justice, Tanko Muhammad.
Goodluck Jonathan appointed eight Justices – Rhodes-Vivour, Ngwuta, Odili, Ariwoola, Datijo Muhammad, Kekere-Ekun, Inyang Okoro, and Centus Nweze.
With his approval of four new justices, President Buhari has so far appointed a total of seven justices – all of them from the North.
The Court now has Justices from North Central(2), North East(3), North West(4), South East(2), South South (2) and South West(3).
|1||2006||Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad||Chief Justice||Male||67||North East|
|2||2010||Bode Rhodes-Vivour||Associate||Male||69||South West|
|3||2011||Nwali Sylvester Ngwuta||Associate||Male||69||South East|
|4||2011||Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili||Associate||Female||68||South South|
|5||2011||Olukayode Ariwoola||Associate||Male||62||South West|
|6||2012||Musa Datijo Muhammad||Associate||Male||67||North Central|
|7||2013||Kudirat M. O. Kekere-Ekun||Associate||Female||62||South West|
|8||2013||John Inyang Okoro||Associate||Male||61||South South|
|9||2014||Chima Centus Nweze||Associate||Male||62||South East|
|10||2016||Amina Adamu Augie||Associate||Female||67||North West|
|11||2016||Ejembi Eko||Associate||Male||68||North Central|
|12||2018||Uwani Musa Aba Aji||Associate||Female||64||North East|
|13||2020||Mohammed Garba||Associate||Male||62||North West|
|14||2020||Tijani Abubakar||Associate||Male||?||North East|
|15||2020||Abdu Aboki||Associate||Male||?||North West|
|16||2020||Mohammed M. Saulawa||Associate||Male||?||North West|
Buhari’s Supreme Court in the Making
President Muhammadu Buhari will have appointed 11 of the 16-member Supreme Court Justices when he leaves office in 2023,
Yesterday’s approval means that he has now appointed seven Justices, and has an opportunity to appoint four more.
The four will replace Justices Bode Rhodes-Vivour (South West) and Nwali Sylvester Ngwuta(South East) who will both retire in 2021
In 2022, he will appoint two more as Justices Mary Odili, and Ejembi Eko, will both retire.
By next year, 2021, he will beat President Jonathan’s record of eight Supreme Court appointments.
Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad will outlast President Buhari and will also swear in a new President in 2023 before retiring.
He will retire in December 2023.
Today, Buhari is one appointee short of President Jonathan’s eight Supreme Court appointments before the former President left in 2015.
However, Buahari’s successor will appoint even more – all remaining 12 Justices currently sitting who are set to retire after 2023.