Ibrahim Muhammad confirmed as substantive CJN, six months after appointment

IBRAHIM Tanko Muhammad has been confirmed by the Senate as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, six months after he was sworn-in by President Muhammadu Buhari to act in the capacity.

The House went into a closed-door session on Wednesday, following a motion by the Senate leader Abdullahi Abubakar, where it finally approved Muhammad’s nomination.

Senate President Ahmed Lawan had on Tuesday requested that the jurist’s curriculum vitae be shared among the lawmakers.

Muhammad was sworn-in on Friday January 25 at a brief ceremony at the Presidential Villa, following the suspension of the former CJN, Walter Onnoghen, accused of false assets declaration.

Tanko Muhammad, according to his profile provided by the Supreme Court, studied Law between 1976 and 1980 at Ahmadu Bello University, after which he graduated successfully from the Nigerian Law School in 1981. He obtained a Master’s degree in Law from the same institution in 1984, and then a doctorate degree in 1998.

He started his career in the judiciary as a Grade II Magistrate in Bauchi State and then rose through the ranks.

In 1990, he was appointed Chief Magistrate of the Federal Capital Territory High Court. From there, he became a Kadi of the Bauchi Sharia Court of Appeal, then Justice of the Court of Appeal, and then Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 2006.

He was, before his appointment as CJN, the second most senior Justice of the Supreme Court, ranking only below Walter Nkanu Onnoghen who was appointed to the court in 2005.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria is the head of the Supreme Court of the country. He is also, according to the constitution, chairman of the National Judicial Council and Federal Judicial Service Commission.

Onnoghen, the former CJN, was similarly not confirmed until about four months after he was sworn-in as acting CJN.


The delay had led to speculations that Buhari did not favour the idea of having a chief justice outside the Northern region.


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