The number of Supreme Court justices will be dropping to 10 this week following the retirement of Justice Musa Dattijio Muhammad.
The Nation however reported that the number of justices are expected to rise to 21 before the end of next month. It was also gathered that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olakayode Ariwoola, had in June signified the commencement of a fresh process to appoint 11 Justices.
He reportedly Ariwoola requested nominations from the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), heads of courts and Justices of the Supreme Court.
The process would be concluded before the end of next month as the council has resolved to speed up the process. It was further gathered that the NJC is currently awaiting the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) to conclude the screening and forward the names of the successful candidates to the NJC.
A source told the publication;
“I assure you that the NJC is committed to fast-tracking the process of making recommendations to the President once the FJSC sends in the names of successful candidates.
“The NJC is aware of the situation at the Supreme Court and was willing to ensure that the ongoing process of appointing 11 Justices for the court is completed with dispatch.
“Once the FJSC sends in its list, the NJC will not waste time given the concern being expressed by many about the state of affairs at the Supreme Court.
“I am hopeful that the process will be rounded off before the end of next month.”
Justice Muhammad, who hails from Chanchaga Local Government Area of Niger State, was born on October 27, 1953 in Minna. He obtained a degree in Law from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1977, and a master’s in law from Warwick University in 1983.