The acting chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), Ibrahim Muhammad, has asked justices of the supreme court to nominate six persons to the apex court.
In a letter dated June 11, Muhammad said the nomination is needed because there are currently only 15 justices on the bench of the apex court.
Citing the constitution, Muhammad said there ought to be a maximum of 21 justices and asked the justices to nominate eligible candidates for the position, not later than June 25.
“By the provision of Section 230(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the Supreme Court of Nigeria shall consist of the chief justice of Nigeria and such number of Justices of the Supreme Court, not exceeding twenty-one, as may be prescribed by an Act of the national assembly,” the letter read.
“As there are 15 Justices on the Supreme Court Bench at present, it is necessary to take steps to fill the remaining six vacancies to make 21 Justices.
“I shall be grateful if you could nominate suitable candidates for consideration for appointment as Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
“In making your submission in respect of eligible candidates, you are requested to forward 10 judgments delivered in contested cases 2 years preceding the date of nomination in the case of Judicial Officers and l0 judgments obtained in contested cases 5 years preceding the date of nomination in the case of Legal Practitioners in Private Practice, certified by competent authorities.
“You are requested to comment on the suitability of the candidates nominated by you.”
Earlier in June, President Muhammadu Buhari asked the CJN to “initiate in earnest the process of appointing additional justices of the supreme court”.