The Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Ishaq Bello, retired on Tuesday without any immediate plan for appointment of his successor announced.
A valedictory court session where the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, and others including lawyers, judges, friends and family gathered to bid him farewell, held at the headquarters of the court in Maitama, Abuja, on Tuesday.
The exit of a head of court is usually followed immediately by the swearing in of a successor, either in a substantive or acting capacity, depending on the status of the appointment process as of the time retirement of the exiting Chief Judge.
The status of the process of appointment of the incoming Chief Judge of the FCT could not be immediately verified by PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday.
The National Judicial Council (NJC), the body which makes recommendations of such appointments to the President for validation, announced over 60 judicial appointments, including heads of some other courts, at the end of its last meeting held in December 2020.
This, it did, without any mention of the position of the FCT Chief Judge, which was set to be vacant in a matter of weeks.
The second most senior judge of the FCT High Court, Salisu Garba, who, in the normal course of event, should step in as the Chief Judge of the Abuja judiciary was present at the valedictory session held for Mr Bello on Tuesday but no plan about the swearing of the successor was mentioned at the event.
The CJN, who usually performs the swearing in of the heads of other Federal courts including the FCT High Court, was present but did not give a remark.
Tuesday was the first public outing of Mr Muhammad weeks after he was reported to have flown to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for COVID treatment.
It is still unclear how long the vacancy of the position of the FCT Chief Judge of the FCT, which started 12.01am on Tuesday, will last.
The spokesperson for the NJC, Soji Oye, did not respond to calls for comment.
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