Buhari seeks Senate’s confirmation of Muhammad as Nigeria’s Chief Justice, 15 special advisers

President Muhammadu Buhari [Photo: © AFP]
President Muhammadu Buhari [Photo: © AFP]

President Muhammadu Buhari has requested the confirmation of Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Mr Buhari’s request was contained in a letter read at the start of Senate plenary on Thursday.

Mr Muhammad was first appointed in January after the president controversially suspended Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen, who was accused of false declaration of asset.

On Wednesday, the National Judicial Council (NJC) in a statement said it has recommended to President Buhari the appointment of Justice Tanko as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Following the recommendation, Mr Buhari has now sought the confirmation of the CJN from the Senate.

The letter reads, “In accordance with Section 231 (1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), which gives the president the power to appoint a Chief Justice of Nigeria on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council and subject to the confirmation of the appointment by the Senate. I have the honour to forward the nomination of Honourable Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed for confirmation as Chief Justice of Nigeria.

“It is my hope that this request will receive the usual expeditious consideration of the distinguished Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Please accept, Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

In a separate letter, Mr Buhari wrote to inform the Senate of his intention to appoint 15 special advisers.

“Pursuant to provision of Section 151 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), which confers to the president powers to appoint special advisers to assist him in the performance of his functions, I write to request the kind consideration of the distinguished Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to appoint 15 special advisers.

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“While hoping that this request will receive the usual expeditious consideration of the distinguished Senate, please accept, Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration,” the second letter reads.

In contrast to the expectation of Nigerians, the president is yet to forward his ministerial list to the Senate.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday hinted on the possibility of the Senate receiving the executive’s ministerial nominee list this week.

“I think this is to inform this Senate that the executive arm is working hard to get the list to the Senate. I can imagine that before this week runs out, we could get the list. But I want to assure you that once we get the list, every senator here has shown the desire to stay long enough to screen and confirm the nominees in the interest of this country,” he said.

However, there was no such letter on Thursday, the last plenary day for the week.

Mr Buhari was sworn-in for a second term on My 29 after winning re-election in February. However, the president is yet to constitute his cabinet, about one and half months after.

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