There are only 10 justices left in Nigeria’s Supreme Court, it has been learnt. This is coming after the retirement – around the same time – of many of the Justices making up the minimum number required to be at the apex court.
A justice of the Supreme Court, Musa Dattijo will officially retire from the bench on Friday, October 27, 2023. His retirement followed that of Justice Amina Augie on September 22, 2023 — on age grounds — and the death of Justice Chima Nweze on July 31, 2023.
This drops the number of justices to 10 instead of the 21 stipulated by Section 230(2) of the 1999 Constitution.
Announcing Dattijo’s retirement on Sunday in a statement, the Court Spokesperson, Festus Akande said a valedictory court session would be held in his honour on Friday.
Akande said the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola would preside over the session.
“The valedictory court session to mark the retirement of justice Musa Dattijo Muhammad from the Supreme Court Bench comes up on Friday, October 27, 2023 at the Main Courtroom of the Supreme Court of Nigeria,” the statement read.
The Special Court Session is to be presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, who will customarily, pay tribute to Justice Musa Dattijo alongside other major stakeholders in the nation’s justice sector.
According to the statement, Dattijo who hails from Chanchaga Local Government Area of Niger State, was born on Tuesday, October 27, 1953, in Minna.
He took the oath of office as Justice of the Supreme Court on Tuesday, 10th July 2012. His ascension to the Court of Appeal was more of a reward for hard work, inherent passion for his chosen profession, dedication to duty, and above all, a resolute application of the law in its true letters and words to all cases that came to him.
“He earned a well-deserved elevation to the Court of Appeal on 21st November 1998 from the Niger State Judiciary, and served meritoriously at different Divisions,” he stated.
The 10 justices left are Kudirat Motonmori Olatokunbo Kekere-Ekun CFR, John Inyang Okoro, Uwani Musa Abba Aji, M. Lawal Garba, Helen M. Ogunwumiju, Ibrahim Mohammed Musa Saulawa and Adamu Jauro.
Others are Tijjani Abubakar, Emmanuel A. Agim and Ariwoola, the CJN.