The National Judicial Council (NJC) has inaugurated a five-member committee to investigate allegations against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, and the acting CJN, Tanko Mohammad.
The council announced this development in a statement on Wednesday by its spokesperson, Soji Oye.
The NJC also said it received another petition against Mr Mohammad.
The council had said on Monday it would constitute a complaints committee and reconvene on Wednesday, after examining the petitions against the two top judicial officers.
In a new statement after its meeting on Wednesday, the NJC said the committee would be made up of five members and is to be chaired by a retired Justice, S. A Akintan.
“In continuation of its Emergency Meeting, the National Judicial Council accepted the result of the preliminary assessment of the petitions against Hon. Mr. Justice W. S. N. Onnoghen, GCON and Hon. Mr. Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR that the petitions were worthy of further investigation and should not be terminated under Rule 17 of the Judicial Discipline Regulations of the Council.
“Consequently, the council constituted a five-member Investigation Committee pursuant to Rule 20 (1) of the Judicial Discipline Regulations under the Chairmanship of Hon. Mr. Justice S. A. Akintan, CON, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
“A new petition against Hon. Mr. Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR, by the Action People’s Party (APP) was referred to the Hon. Mr. Justice for his comments within an abridged 7-days.
” Council directed the Investigation Committee to work expeditiously, determine all the petitions and responses and report to Council for a final decision,” the statement by Mr Oye said.
The NJC’s decision came just as the Code of Conduct Tribunal, where Mr Onnoghen is facing trial on six counts of false assets declaration, ordered the arrest of the suspended CJN.