Law News
NJC to clear two Justices for S’Court Wednesday

The National Judicial Council is hold its first quarterly plenary for this year on Wednesday and Thursday.

Our correspondent learnt on Monday that a major item on the NJC’s plenary would be consideration of the outcome of the interview conducted to fill two vacancies at the apex court bench.

According to reliable sources in the judiciary, four candidates, who are currently Justices of the Court of Appeal in various divisions, have already been interviewed for the available two slots.

It was learnt that Justices Ejembi Eko and Monica Dongban-Mensen were interviewed to choose a replacement for Justice John Fabiyi, who retired in November 2015.

Two other Justices of the Court of Appeal, Amina Augie and Garba Lawal, were also said to have been interviewed, in order to fill in the vacancy left behind by Justice Muhammad Muntaka-Coomasie, who retired on February 10.

Either Eko, who hails from Benue State, or Dongbam-Mesen from Plateau State will fill in the slot of the North Central geo-political zone on the bench which became vacant with the retirement of Justice Fabiyi, who hails from Kogi State in the same zone.

Either of Augie or Lawal will replace Muntaka-Coomasie who hails from Kaduna State.

After the NJC’s plenary, the name of one of the two candidates will be forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari, who is vested with the powers to appoint.

A source said, “Two new Justice of the Supreme Court will emerge this week. It is certain that the NJC will consider the outcome of the interview at its plenary which will hold on Wednesday and Thursday.”

The appointment of Justices of the Supreme Court begins with the CJN sending the quadruple of the number of personnel needed to the Federal Judicial Service Commission.

The FJSC is expected to conduct interview and other procedure to prune down the number to double which will be forwarded to the NJC.

The number of the Supreme Court Justices last week dropped from 16 to 15 with the retirement of Justice Muhammad Muntaka-Coomasie, who attained the mandatory retirement age of 70 on February 10.

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