ABUJA, Nigeria – President Bola Tinubu’s nomination of 11 justices to the Supreme Court, increasing the number of judges to 21, has been met with varying reactions. Legal practitioner Okanlawon Gaffar believes that Tinubu’s actions merely fulfill the constitutional requirements and are necessary for Nigeria’s democratic growth. The Senate approved the nominees in December, aligning with the constitutional mandate. However, stakeholders have shared differing opinions on whether Tinubu should be commended for his appointments.
Gaffar emphasizes that the effectiveness of the judiciary lies not solely with the president’s nominations, but also with the other branches of government and their respective roles. He stresses the importance of all stakeholders in upholding Nigeria’s democracy, as outlined in the country’s constitution.
While Tinubu’s nomination of justices has generated debate, it remains crucial to evaluate the overall independence and efficacy of the judiciary. Section 231 of the constitution outlines the process for appointing Supreme Court justices, indicating that the president’s role is just one part of the procedure.
In a separate development, Tinubu has initiated an investigation into potential fraudulent foreign exchange transactions during Godwin Emefiele’s tenure as the Central Bank of Nigeria’s governor. This probe has made progress, with a top official from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) disclosing that the findings will be included in the amended charges against Emefiele. The EFCC has already contacted over 85 entities, including corporate organizations and individuals, as part of the investigation.
President Tinubu’s nomination of 11 new Supreme Court justices, bringing the total to 21, has sparked both support and criticism. The constitutional requirements for the appointments have been met, but experts stress the need for a collective effort to ensure the effectiveness and independence of the judiciary. Additionally, Tinubu’s investigation into alleged fraudulent foreign exchange transactions demonstrates ongoing efforts to address corruption in Nigeria’s financial sector.