Senate confirms 11 Supreme Court justices

The Senate, Thursday, confirmed the appointment of 11 Supreme Court justices appointed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to fill the vacancies on the apex court bench.

The confirmation followed the consideration and adoption of a report by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, during Thursday’s plenary.

President Tinubu had asked the Senate to confirm the nominees, who were recommended by the National Judicial Council to fill the vacant positions following death and resignation of some justices.

The nominees confirmed are Justice Haruna Tsammani (Northeast) who chaired the Presidential Election Petition Court, Justice Moore Adumein (South-South), Justice Jummai Sankey (North-central), Justice Chidiebere Uwa (South-east) and Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme (South-east).

Others are Justice Obande Ogbuinya (South-east),Justice Stephen Adah (North-central), Justice Habeeb Abiru (South-west), Justice Jamilu Tukur (Northwest), Justice Abubakar Umar (Northwest) and Justice Mohammed Idris (North-central).

The chairman of the committee, Senator Tahir Monguno (APC, Borno), while presenting his panel report, said the nominees possesed the requisite qualifications and experience to occupy the position and that there was no petition against them.

He, therefore, recommended their confirmation.

With the confirmation of the 11 justices, the Supreme Court now has the complete statutory requirement of 21 justices on its bench.

Senators, who spoke before the confirmation, had expressed concern over the delay in the appointment of justices for the Supreme Court bench.

Senator Seriake Dickson (PDP, Bayelsa) urged that in the event of subsequent vacancies, a provision for their immediate replacement should be made.

He said, “Anytime these vacancies occur, they should be filled immediately.

“I want to draw that to the attention of the President. There shouldn’t be delay so that we don’t become a laughing stock.”

The Senate Leader, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (APD, Ekiti) said it was important that those who are next in line be screened and appointed immediately as the vacancies occur at the apex court.

Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (APC, Abia) stressed that the funds allocated to the Supreme Court in the 2024 budget be reviewed upwards to ensure its effectiveness.

He said, “The Senate should look at the budget of the Judiciary because even the state courts are in a mess. How can they give good justice? This is not the way it was before, we were doing better.”

Also, the Senate confirmed Oladunjoye Saidat Olayinka as the Commissioner representing Lagos State in the National Population Commission (NPC) following the recommendation of its committee on National Identity Card and National Population chaired by Senator Abdul Ningi (PDP, Bauch).