Chief Justice of Nigeria, Dr. Tanko Muhammad, CFR has resigned his position on health grounds, Muslim News can confirm.
Justice Tanko wrote a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari earlier on Monday, 27th June 2022, informing him of his decision, noting the resignation takes immediate effect.
President Buhari, who conferred Tanko Muhammad a national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger, immediately swore in Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.
The impromptu ceremony, Muslim News learnt, was held at the Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja.
Justice Muhammad’s action has been trailed with commendations from many Nigerians who described it as uncommon dignity.
In Nigeria, it is very rare for political office holders to resign their positions, even when obviously incapable and infirm.
Justice Tanko, a devout Muslim from Bauchi State, was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2006, sworn in on the 8th of January 2007, and became the Chief Justice of Nigeria in acting capacity on 25th January 2019.
He became the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman National Judicial Council on Wednesday, 24th July 2019.
Justice Tanko was ordinarily billed to retire from the Supreme Court on the last day of 2023 but due to “ill-health”, as confirmed by President Buhari, he tendered his resignation.
President Buhari, in a statement, said he accepted the resignation with mixed feelings.
According to him, “Much as one may wish that the Chief Justice of Nigeria Muhammed Tanko is able to fully serve his term in office, it presupposes that he is able to perform the functions of the office without let, hindrance or any form of disability.”
The Nigerian leader added that the country’s judiciary under the leadership of Chief Justice of Nigeria Tanko Muhammed judiciously exercised the judicial powers of the Federation.
“His era witnessed several landmark, jurisprudential and policy decisions by the Supreme Court, and by extension other courts established by the constitution. CJN Tanko dealt firmly with the issue of reckless and indiscriminate grant of ex-parte orders that was assuming serious dimensions.
“History will be kind to Justice Tanko Muhammed for his modest contributions to Nigeria’s Judiciary, the strengthening of our democracy and national development.
“In line with the custom of decorating Chief Justices of Nigeria with the second highest national honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, (GCON), and upon the advice of the Council of State in that regard, as his Lordship CJN Tanko Muhammed is taking a bow from the Supreme Court, I hereby bestow on him the National Honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, (GCON).
“This occasion is an opportune time for me, to, as always, assure the Nigerian Judiciary that this administration is committed to ensuring the independence of the Judiciary and will not do anything nor take any steps to undermine your independence. We shall uphold the constitutional provisions on the rule of law and the principles of separation of powers.”
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