Accommodation, Logistics Delay Swearing-In Of 11 New Supreme Court Justices
The inauguration of 11 newly appointed Supreme Court Justices is being delayed due to accommodation and logistical constraints, inside sources have revealed.
Forty days after 11 justices were screened and confirmed by the Senate following their nomination for elevation to the Supreme Court of Nigeria, their Lordships have yet to be sworn in.
Their nomination which was done to satisfy the Constitutional requirement for 21 Supreme Court judges came on the heels an unprecedented depletion of the apex court bench.
However, according to inside sources, the justices’ inauguration is being delayed on account of accommodation and logistical constraints.
Although their appointment was meant to reduce to the number of cases awaiting attention at the topmost court this latest revelation has left many in shock.
The Senate on December 21, 2023, confirmed Haruna Tsammani (North East); Moore Adumein (South South); Jummai Sankey (North Central); Chidiebere Uwa (South East); and Chioma Nwosu-Iheme (South East).
Others are Obande Ogbuinya (South East); Stephen Adah (North Central); Habeeb Abiru (South-West); Jamilu Tukur (North West); Abubakar Umar (North West); and Mohammed Idris (North Central)
According to press, a Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) insider, who does not want to be mentioned, said the delay was to enable the justices conclude their outstanding cases at the Court of Appeal to avoid the Orji Uzor Kalu scenario in May 2020.
He explained that the fiat issued to Justice Mohammed Idris, who was already elevated to the Court of Appeal to return under Section 396(7) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 to conclude Kalu’s trial was a fundamental breach of the constitution.
“So, the Supreme Court management said let the justices go and complete their cases before being appointed,” he said.
Speaking on the delay, Murtala Abdulrasheed, SAN revealed that there was no release of funds for furnishing of comfortable apartments, offices and purchase of vehicles for the newly elevated justices.
“The justices have not been provided with the tools to work; but what I heard is that by the end of this month, they will do all,” he said.
A staff member of the Supreme Court, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed that none of the vehicles for the new justices has been purchased unlike previous appointments as each justice is usually given three SUVs.
“They don’t come with their vehicles from the Court of Appeal; new ones had to be provided for them,” he said.
He added that there is a petition against one of the justices, which is being sorted out.
In the meantime, the NJC in an attempt to dispel speculations that the inauguration was scheduled for January 16, announced that no date has been set for the swearing in.
The statement, issued by the Director of Information, NJC, Soji Oye, stated that the date for the exercise would be announced at the appropriate time.