The National Judicial Council, NJC has removed Justice Walter Onnoghen’s name from the Council’s members’ list and named the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, as the acting chairman.
Checks on the official website of the Council revealed that Justice Onnoghen is no longer on the list of current council members. The list is now headed by Justice Tanko. The council list is made up of 23 members instead of the full membership of 24.
Justice Onnoghen is listed among former chair of the Council.
President Muhammadu Buhari controversially suspended Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen in January over allegation of false and non-declaration of assets.
The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Thursday convicted Onnoghen of false and non-declaration of assets.
The tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar, also ordered the immediate removal of Onnoghen from office as the CJN and the Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC) as well as the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC). He has denied all allegations against him, and has appealed the ruling.
Membership of the council
By the provision of Paragraph 20 of Part One of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended. The National Judicial Council shall comprise the following Members:
the Chief Justice of Nigeria, who shall be the Chairman;
the next most senior Justice of the Supreme Court who shall be the Deputy Chairman;
the President of the Court of Appeal;
five retired Justices selected by the Chief Justice of Nigeria from the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal;
the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court;
the President, National Industrial Court of Nigeria;
five Chief Judges of States to be appointed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria from among the Chief Judges of the States and of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in rotation to serve for two years;
one Grand Kadi to be appointed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria from among Grand Kadis of the Sharia Courts of Appeal to serve in rotation for two years;
one President of the Customary Court of Appeal to be appointed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria from among the Presidents of the Customary Courts of Appeal to serve in rotation for two years;
five members of the Nigerian Bar Association who have been qualified to practice for a period of not less than fifteen years, at least one of whom shall be a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, appointed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria on the recommendation of the National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association to serve for two years and subject to re-appointment: Provided that the five members shall sit in the Council only for the purposes of considering the names of persons for appointment to the superior courts of record; and
two person not being Legal Practitioners, who in the opinion of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, are of unquestionable integrity