Following the conviction of the embattled ex-CJN Justice Walter Onnoghen on Thursday, President Buhari has extended the appointment of Tanko Muhammad as the acting Chief Justice of nigeria by another three months. If you recall, Muhummad was installed in the capacity of acting CJN after Buhari unilaterally suspended Onnoghen who was accused of false declaration of asset, which brought on wide-spread criticisms with many deeming the action as unconstitutional.
Buhari sent the recommendation to the National Judicial Council and the supervisory body approved the appointment on Thursday, a spokesperson for the NJC, Soji Oye, said in a statement on Saturday.
“Contrary to the above, the Council actually met on Thursday 18th April, 2019 and at the 88th Meeting considered and approved the request of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for the extension of the Appointment of Hon. Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR, as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria for another three (3) months and Council has since forwarded its approval to the President.”
While Onnoghen has been barred from holding public office for the next ten years, as ordered by the CCT, Muhammad’s tenure extension by Buhari gives more weight to the lingering suspicion we have had all along: that Buhari’s choice to appoint Muhammad was strategic with the aim to swing the outcome of the presidential polls to his favour. Even a blind man can see it. Anyway, we will see how this unfolds.