Fred Itua, Abuja
Six months after he was appointed in an acting capacity, President Muhammadu Buhari has formally written to the Senate, to approve the nomination of Muhammad Tanko as the substantive chief justice of Nigeria (CJN).
Tanko was appointed in January, following the suspension of the immediate-past CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen. Until his appointment as acting CJN, Tanko was the second most ranking justice of the Supreme Court.
The president based his request on section 231, sub section 1&2 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
The section stipulates that “the appointment of a person to the office of Chief Justice of Nigeria shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, subject to confirmation of such appointment by the Senate.
“The appointment of a person to the office of a Justice of the Supreme Court shall be made by the President on the National Judicial Council subject to confirmation of such appointment by the Senate.”
“I have the honour to forward the nomination of honourable justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, for confirmation as chief justice of Nigeria.
“It is my hope that this request will receive the usual expeditious cooperation of the distinguished senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Similarly, the president also sent a letter requesting for the approval of the senate to appoint 15 senior special advisers. No names were attached to the letter.
Despite an earlier promise by Lawan that the ministerial list could be ready this week, no mention of it was made.
Yesterday was the last sitting day for the week.
Lawan had, at Wednesday plenary, assured that the Red Chamber would receive a list of ministerial nominees from president Buhari, this week.
Senator Lawan had explained that the Executive was working round the clock to ensure that a ministerial list is sent sent to the senate for screening and confirmation.
The president of the senate had also assured his colleagues that screening of the nominees would commence without delay.