NJC Screening: 11 Supreme Court Justice Candidates Set for Appointment

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The National Judicial Council (NJC) screened 22 shortlisted candidates on Tuesday to fill Supreme Court vacancies, with 11 tipped to be appointed by President Bola Tinubu later this week.

The marathon 9am to 6pm screening held at the NJC’s Committee Room in Abuja, saw the candidates divided into priority and reserved lists.

“The priority candidates include Justice Jummai Sankey; Justice Stephen Adah; Justice Mohammed Idris; Justice Abubakar Umar; Justice Chidiebere Uwa; Justice Obande Ogbuinya; Justice Ugochukwu Ogakwu; Justice Moore Adumein; and Justice Habeeb Abiru.”

The names of the reserved candidates are Justice Muhammad Sirajo; justice Ridwan Abdullahi; Justice Joseph Ikyegh; Justice Abubakar Talba; Justice Balkisu Aliyu; Justice Abdullahi Bayero; Justice Onyekachi Otisi; Justice Theresa Orji-Abadua; Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme, Justice Biobele Georgewill; and Justice Oyewole Kayode.

A top NJC official revealed that the recommended names will be ratified at the council’s plenary this week and swiftly forwarded to President Tinubu for appointment.

The screening and nomination comes amid a severe shortage of Supreme Court Justices, with the constitutional threshold of 21 Justices not met currently. Three justices have exited the apex court since July 2023.

All shortlisted candidates were reportedly vetted and cleared by security agencies including the SSS and police ahead of their appearance before the NJC interview panel.

The screening committee was headed by Supreme Court Justice and NJC Vice-Chairman, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun. The NJC will assess if the candidates successfully demonstrated suitability for the country’s highest court.

Appointment of new Supreme Court Justices is expected to ease the court’s workload and strengthen its capacity to dispense timely justice on important constitutional issues and disputes.

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