Senate on Tuesday confirmed the appointments of eight new Supreme Court justices.
The letter seeking approval for their appointments initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari was read by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
The appointments according to Buhari were based on the recommendations of the National Judicial Council.
Buhari had also said his action was “in pursuant to Section 231 (2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and upon the advice of the National Judicial Council according to their ranking and seniority in the Court of Appeal.”
Those confirmed are, Lawal Garba, (North West), Helen Ogunwumiju (South West), Abdu Aboki (North West), M M Saulawa (North West), Adamu Jauro (North East), Samuel Oseji (South South), Tijani Abubakar (North East), and Emmanuel Agim (South South)
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, presented the report of his panel’s screening exercise for senators’ consideration on Tuesday stating that all the judges are eminently qualified for the exalted positions and there was no petition against any of them.
Bamidele said their appointment satisfied the requirement of Sections 230(2) and 232(1) and (2) and (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
He said, “Upon confirmation of the appointment of the nominees by the Senate, all geopolitical zones will be represented by three or four Justices, as the case may be, except the North-Central Zone, which will maintain its current two Justices on the Bench of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.”
Bamidele, however, explained that the North-Central Zone has two justices, unlike the other zones.
He attributed the development to the fact that during the selection process, the nomination from the zone was stood down by the selection committee for a further review of the nomination by the Federal Judicial Service Commission.
He added that while necessary steps were being taken to meet the full complement of the maximum number of Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
He said the appointment of the eight justices of the Supreme Court was a bold step taken by Buhari to strengthen the Judiciary to meet with the challenges of the 21st century.
The upper chamber in a Committee of the Whole, thereafter, confirmed the nomination of the eight appointees as Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.