Justice Walter Onnoghen’s name has been removed from the National Judicial Council’s members’ list, preparing the ground for a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, to emerge as the council’s deputy chairman, The PUNCH reports.
The altered membership list of the NJC was observed on the council’s website at about 7.15pm on Sunday.
The list, displaying 23 members instead of the full membership of 24, shows that the council has yet to have a deputy chairman as constitutionally provided.
It was gathered that following Onnoghen’s exit, Justice Rhodes-Vivour as the second most senior Justice of the Supreme Court would be announced as the deputy chairman at the next meeting of the council.
“The date of the next meeting of the NJC is not known yet; but because the acting CJN has just taken over as the acting chairman of the council, it is expected that the deputy chairman will be announced at the next meeting,” a top judiciary source told our correspondent on Sunday.
Paragraph 20 (a) of Part I of the Third Schedule to the Constitution makes “the next most senior Justice of the Supreme Court” a member of the council and provides that the person “shall be the Deputy Chairman.”
Our correspondent also observed on the website of the council on Sunday that the membership list of the NJC had been altered to reflect the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, as the acting chairman.
Onnoghen now occupies the 16th position on the list of former Chief Justices of Nigeria as observed on the website by our correspondent on Sunday.
The Code of Conduct Tribunal had last Thursday convicted Onnoghen on charges of breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers and ordered his removal as the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the chairman of both the NJC and the Federal Judicial Service Commission.
But multiple judiciary sources told our correspondent on Sunday that the NJC’s membership list was altered shortly after Justice Onnoghen tendered his resignation letter on April 4.
Constitutionally, the CJN is automatically the chairman of both the NJC and the Federal Judicial Service Commission, but Muhammad only took over the headship of the council on April 4, over two months after he began to act as the CJN.
This was a day after the NJC cleared him of wrongdoing in allowing himself to be sworn in as the acting CJN without NJC’s recommendation.
The council, which also investigated Onnoghen for various acts of misconduct, was said to have recommended him for retirement.
Onnoghen reportedly resigned on April 4, barely 24 hours after the NJC sent its recommendations to President Buhari.
Muhammad took over as the acting CJN after he was cleared by the NJC and Onnoghen resigned.
The current members of the NJC as observed on the council’s website on Sunday included Justice Muhammad; President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa; a former Justice of the Supreme Court and a former chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, Justice Emmanuel Ayoola; a former Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Sunday Akintan; and a former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Umaru Abdullahi.
They also included a retired Justice of the Court of Appeal, Justice, V.O.A Omage;
Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati; President, National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Justice Babatunde Adejumo; Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Ishaq Bello; and Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta Abiola.
The Chief Judge of Borno State, Justice Kashim Zannah; Chief Judge of Imo State, Pascal Nnadi; Chief Judge of Delta State, Marshal Umukoro; Grand Kadi, Sharia Court of Appeal, Kwara State Grand Kadi Mohammed Abdulkadir; and President, Customary Court of Appeal, Plateau State, Justice Julia Kyentu are also members.
They also included the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Paul Usoro (SAN); a former NBA President, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN); and three NBA members, namely Dr Muiz Banire (SAN); Damien Dodo (SAN), and Efe Etomi.
The rest are a retired public servant, Mrs Rakiya Ibrahim; a former Permanent Secretary, Mrs R. Inga and Secretary to the Council, Ahmed Saleh.
Napoli Consider Renaming Stadium after Diego Maradona
Napoli are considering renaming their stadium in memory of Diego Maradona after the club legend died aged 60.
Maradona, regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, forged a strong bond with the Italian club and its supporters during his seven-year spell between 1984 and 1991.
The forward, who inspired Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986, joined Napoli from Barcelona and won their only two Serie A titles – in 1987 and 1990 – along with the Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup.
Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis confirmed following Maradona’s death that the club will discuss renaming their stadium in his honour, combining its current title with his full iconic name, Sky reports.
“We can consider the idea of calling our stadium San Paolo-Diego Armando Maradona,” De Laurentiis told French sports channel RMC Sport.
Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris supported the proposal that the city’s San Paolo Stadium be renamed for Maradona, who scored 81 goals in 188 appearances for the club.
“We are already putting it together this morning, taking the first steps to dedicate Naples stadium to Maradona,” De Magistris said.
The Mayor added: “We’re hoping to make it coincide with the resumption of games with fans.”
Fans gathered outside the stadium, which was lit in memory of Maradona’s time at the club, in the southern Italian city on Wednesday evening.
Tributes have poured in from the world of football and beyond, with three days of national mourning underway in Argentina.
Implement People’s Demands Or Set Nigeria on Fire, Wike Tells Buhari
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prove to Nigerians that he is ready to do the people’s requests.
The governor said the President will set the country ‘on fire’ by not implementing some of the requests voiced out by leaders during the recent discussions with the presidential delegation led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari.
The PUNCH had reported that Gambari led ministers and federal lawmakers to meetings with leaders of the six geopolitical zones as a way of addressing concerns raised in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests.
Gambari and the presidential delegation had met with governors and leaders of the South-South geopolitical zone in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Tuesday.
At the meeting, the South-South leaders including the Rivers State governor demanded the restructuring of the country in line with the principle of true federalism, saying it will guarantee peace, security and stability in the country.
Giving an update on the meeting on Thursday morning, Wike said the President still has time to implement the will of the people and etch a legacy for himself.
The governor spoke today on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme monitored by The PUNCH.
He said, “I am not a pessimist. I don’t believe that because you didn’t do what you agreed to do yesterday, therefore, you will not do what you agree to do today. Even if he (Buhari) has not done what he told Nigerians he would do, he can say, look, I promised Nigerians yesterday, I didn’t do that and that is affecting my integrity and so, for people who know me, I will implement what I have said.
“People have raised the issue that they don’t think anything will come out of the dialogues. I don’t agree with them. I believe that if the President does not do it, given the opportunity he has now, he will be putting Nigeria on fire.”
Continuing, Wike said political will to implement what the people want is key in governance.
According to him, the President has to show leadership by listening to Nigerians and by implementing the people’s requests.
“He may not necessarily implement everything the people may want but let the people see the concrete evidence that under President Buhari, he has been able to implement one, two, three, four demands by the people.
“If he (Buhari) doesn’t take this opportunity now to implement some of these requests, I don’t think it will be very good for Nigerians and for his legacy,” the governor added.
Legendary Football Star, Diego Amando Maradona Dies at 60
Diego Maradona, one of football’s greatest-ever players, has died. He was 60 years.
The 1986 World Cup winner had surgery to remove a blood clot on the brain earlier this month. The Argentine Football Association confirmed he had died this afternoon.
“The Argentine Football Association, through its president Claudio Tapia, expresses its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You will always be in our hearts,” they said.
Another of football’s greats, Pele, has led the tributes to: “Certainly, one day we’ll kick a ball together in the sky above.” Follow latest updates and reaction here.
Dr Leopoldo Luque, Maradona’s personal physician, said the former player had shown signs of improvement after a successful operation three weeks ago.
Dr Luque said Maradona “laughed” and “grabbed my hand” just a day after he had the procedure.
“Diego is without any type of neurological deficit, without any type of complication associated with surgery,” Luque said, addressing reporters at the clinic’s door.
“He has an excellent post-operative period, the laboratory parameters even improved.
“The first impression is it is favourable, but it is difficult to evaluate.”