The CJN, however, said the procedure leading to the appointments to fill vacant seats at the Supreme Court so far followed the new Revised National Judicial Council (NJC) Guidelines and Procedural Rules for the Appointment of Judicial Officers of all Superior Courts of Record in Nigeria 2014.
‘’On assumption of office as the Chief Justice of Nigeria, I directed the National Judicial Council to implement the ‘new Revised’ NJC Guidelines and Procedural Rules for the Appointment of Judicial Officers of all Superior Courts of Record in Nigeria 2014; and they have strictly been observed in all appointments to all the superior courts so far made,” he said.
‘’Rule 3 (6) of the Guidelines is unambiguous because it stipulated the judicial officer’s appointment to a higher bench to be determined among other requirements of the number of judgements delivered’’, the CJN said.
He further held that the provision stated unequivocally thus: ‘’…and in the case of appointment from the Bar; (i) evidence of six contested cases in the last five years;(ii) sound knowledge of law, (iii) seniority at the Bar and or the Bench, (iv) Federal Character or geographical spread and where necessary and possible, without compromising the independence of the judiciary or allowing politics to permeate or influence the appointment”.
In other words, the lawyers are not just scored based on the number of his or her contested cases but also have the number of judgements delivered by the judicial officers in consideration for the same vacant seat to contend with.
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