Senate yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to forward nomination of Justice Abdu Kafarati to the upper legislative chamber for approval as substantive Chief Judge (CJ) of the Federal High Court to avoid constitutional crisis.
Following the failure of the Presidency to nominate successor to the former Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta who was due to retire on Saturday September 16, 2017, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJNP Justice Walter Onnoghen, on the same Saturday, swore-in Justice Kafarati, as the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
Justice Kafarati was then the next most senior Justice of that court of first instance in the country.
In his remarks after administering the oath, the CJN said, “The Federal High Court is a very critical court in the jurisprudence of Nigeria. It is very strategic.”
He said the swearing-in was done during the weekend to avoid a vacuum in the leadership of the high court. “That is why we are here today. Even if it has not been done before it has been done now”, Justice Onnoghen jokingly added.
In the same light, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki said the Federal High Court cannot be left to stay without a Chief Judge. ‘’The time to do the needful by the executive is fast running out. Once the Presidency forward his name to this chamber, his confirmation or approval will be made in dispatch to avoid crisis’’.