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’’. The senate resolution followed the motion moved by the chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator David Umaru (Niger East), to draw the attention of his colleagues to looming crisis in the Federal High Court. Senator Umaru said Justice Kafarati was appointed on September 16, 2017 to act as the Chief Judge for three months, and his acting capacity was subsequently renewed for another three months which is about to expire soon. ‘’Justice Kafarati’s acting capacity can no longer be renewed or extended. The Presidency is yet to forward his name for our approval or confirmation as required by the constitution’’, Senator Umaru said. Justice Kafarati’s acting capacity is due to expire by March 16, this year. Meanwhile, senate yesterday confirmed Hon. Ibrahim Rufai Imam, as the new Grand Khadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal. Speaking after the confirmation, Saraki said: “Let me on behalf of the entire Senate congratulate the new Grand Khadi, Sharia Court of Appeal, Hon. Ibrahim Rufai Imam and wish him a successful tenure. I hope that he continues to play his role in the judiciary.” However, the Senate President has also revealed that since the 8th Senate was inaugurated in June 2015, it has confirmed 227 out of 240 nominees that it received from the executive.]]>

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