Just as the interim tenure of Justice Muhammad was to expire on April 25, 2019, President Muhhamadu Buhari has extended his tenure by 3 months.
Buhari sent a recommendation to the National Judicial Council and the supervisory body approved the appointment on Thursday, according to a statement by, a spokesperson for the NJC, Soji Oye,
Justice Muhammad who was first appointed in January after the president controversially suspended Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen was criticized by legal practitioners for accepting his appointment given the fact that the NJC’s role was underplayed in the then Chief Justice’s suspension.
Onnoghen was convicted on Thursday by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, and was barred from holding public office for 10 years. He has denied all allegations against him, and has appealed the ruling.
A statement by presidential aide Garba Shehu on Thursday, following Mr Onnoghen’s conviction, had referred to him as “former” CJN giving rise to suspicions that the acting CJN would be confirmed.
However, a statement released on Saturday by the NJC denies speculations that the council would meet next week to deliberate on the extension of Mr Muhammad’s term as the acting chief justice of Nigeria.
Saying the approval had already been given.
“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.
It is not specific as to when the president sent the request.