President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday controversially suspended Justice Walter Onnoghen as chief justice of Nigeria. He appointed the next in line, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed as acting CJN.
Going by the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution, President Buhari lacked the power to do what he has done.
The constitution says a sitting CJN can only be removed from office by the president after at least two-thirds majority members of the Senate support such a move.
No such matter has been debated at the Nigerian senate. But Mr Buhari claimed he acted based on an order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
Below is the profile of Justice Muhammad as published on the website of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
About Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad CFR
Hon. Mr Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, CFR was born on the 31st December 1953. He hails from Doguwa, Giade Local Government of Bauchi State. He attended primary school at Giade Primary School from 1961 to 1968. He proceeded to Government Secondary School, Azare from the year 1969 to 1973.
His Lordship then proceeded to Abdullahi Bayero University College, Kano for his IJMB from 1975 to 1976. After successful completion of his course, His Lordship got admission to read Law at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria from 1976 to 1980. He attended Nigerian Law School from 1980 to 1981.
In furtherance of his educational career, Justice Muhammad went back to the prestigious ABU, Zaria for his Master’s Degree in Law (LLM) on a part-time basis, from 1982 to 1984. In order to update himself in the field of Law, His Lordship went back to ABU, Zaria in 1987 to 1998 and obtained his Doctorate Degree (PhD) in Law, also on a part-time basis.
Hon. Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR was appointed as Magistrate Grade II from 1982 to 1984 with Bauchi State Judiciary. He rose to Senior Magistrate Grade II from 1984 to 1986. His Lordship was appointed as the Provost, College of Legal and Islamic Studies, Bauchi from 1986 to 1989.
He was appointed Chief Magistrate/Deputy Chief Registrar, High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja from 1990 to 1991. From 1991 to 1993, he was appointed as Kadi (Judge) of the Sharia Court of Appeal, Bauchi State.
Justice Muhammad was elevated to the position of Justice of the Court of Appeal from 1993 to 2006. His Lordship was appointed Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the year 2006 and was sworn in on the 8th of January 2007, the appointment he holds till date.