The National Judicial Council says it has extended the tenure of the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mohammad Tanko, based on the request of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Tanko was appointed on January, 25 after the President Buhari suspended the embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen after he was accused of failing to declare some of his assets.
His (Tanko) acting capacity was constitutionally expected to end three months after his appointment. The law, however, allows the council to extend the tenure for another three months, in the event where his tenure is not confirmed by the president.
In a statement on Saturday, the council said it decided to extend the tenure “on the request of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
“The attention of the National Judicial Council has been drawn to an online newspaper and daily newspaper report stating that the Council would meet next week to deliberate on the extension of the Acting Appointment of Honourable Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad CFR, as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.
“Contrary to the above, the Council actually met on Thursday 18th April, 2019 and at the 88th Meeting considered and approved the request of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for the extension of the Appointment of Hon. Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR, as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria for another three (3) months and Council has since forwarded its approval to the President.”
The statement was signed by the NJC’s spokesperson, Soji Oye.
While Mr Tanks continues to act as chief justice, Mr Onnoghen wrote a letter of retirement to President Buhari. He was, however, later convicted by the Code of Conduct Tribunal which also ordered he be sacked from office.