Sequel to the approval of the elevation of Justices Nwali Ngwuta and Mary Peter-Odili of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court by the President, the two new Justices of the Supreme Court are to be sworn in on Thursday. Justice Odili is the wife of Dr. Peter Odili, former Governor of Rivers State.
President Jonathan’s approval came on the heels of the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC) that the justices should be elevated.
Justices Odili and Ngwuta will be sworn-in by the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council, Justice Aloysius I. Katsina-Alu, at the Supreme Court Complex Abuja by 10.00.am on Thursday, 23rd June.
The appointments were made “pursuant to Section 231 (2) and (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, which requires that the appointment of a person to the office of a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Commission subject to confirmation of such nomination by the Senate.”
The said appointments satisfy the constitutional provisions of Section 231(3) which stipulates a minimum of fifteen years post call experience to qualify for the appointment as a Justice of Supreme Court of Nigeria.
Street Journal gathered that though three positions became vacant in the Supreme Court following the retirement of some justices, only two will be filled for now.
The third person that was nominated alongside Odili and Ngwuta, Justice Ariwodola Olukayode, was not cleared by the Senate because of his on-going investigations by the National Judicial Council.
Olukayode was one of the Appeal Court Justices that heard the appeal of the governorship election in Ekiti State between Segun Oni of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Dr Kayode Fayemi of Action Congress Of Nigeria (ACN).
The confirmation has been deferred until the investigation is concluded.