The National Judicial Council has reacted to a call by the Civic Society Network Against Corruption on President Muhammadu Buhari not to approve the appointment of Justice Uwani Musa Abba-Aji, to the Supreme Court’s bench.
It will be recalled that the NJC had at in its 87th meeting chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, on October 3 and 4, recommended Abba-Aji, currently serving on the Court of Appeal bench, to Buhari for appointment as a Justice of the Supreme Court.
The CSNAC, a coalition of more than 150 anti corruption organisations and individuals has petitioned President @MBuhari over the recommendation of Hon. Justice Uwani Musa Abba-Aji, (JCA) as Justice of the Supreme Court by the NJC.
– NBA NEWS (independent Publication)
— Savn (@savndaniel) October 15, 2018
But CSNAC, through its chairman, Mr. Lanre Suraji, had specifically urged Buhari not to forward Abba-Aji’s name to the Senate for confirmation on the basis that she was under corruption investigation by security agencies for allegedly accepting a bribe from a senior lawyer who is currently facing trial in court.
Suraju, who is a member of the NJC’s Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Monitoring Committee set up last year by the CJN, was said to have threatened to challenge Abba-Aji’s appointment in court should President Buhari give a nod to the elevation of Abba-Aji to the apex court.
But, the NJC, said, in a statement by its Director of Information, Mr. Soji Oye, on Wednesday, that contrary to CSNAC’s claim, Justice Abba-Aji had no pending corruption case to disqualify her from being appointed to the apex court’s bench.
However, the council recalled that Justice Abba-Aji was among the eight judicial officers whom the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), in 2016, requested the NJC to suspend pending the conclusion of pending criminal investigations against them.
But it noted that only three out of the eight judges were prosecuted by the AGF, and the rest, including Aba-Aji, were recalled.
It added that Justice Abba-Aji, had since been sitting as a Justice of the Court of Appeal and no new allegation had been levelled against her by any of the security agencies.
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