President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday approved the appointment of another Acting President of the Court of Appeal as Justice Ayo Salami remained suspended.
A statement by the Deputy Director, Information, National Judicial Council, Mr. Soji Oye, said Jonathan approved Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa as acting PCA, following the expiration of Justice Dalhatu Adamu’s term in the office on Friday (today).
Following Salami’s suspension on August 18, 2012 by the NJC, then headed by Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu – the Chief Justice of Nigeria at the time – Adamu was appointed as acting PCA on August 21, 2011.
Although his tenure was expected to last for three months, Adamu had been in the office since then.
His tenure as Acting PCA was reportedly renewed by Jonathan on five separate occasions, leading to insinuations that there was constitutional crisis in the Court of Appeal, and the country’s judiciary.
However, the NJC on Thursday announced that Adamu would return to his former position as another justice of the appellate court, while Bulkachuwa would take up the mantle of acting PCA.
The position of acting PCA may go round the justices of the Court of Appeal if the Salami affair remains unresolved, as subsequent appointments as acting PCA, including Bulkachuwa’s, last for only three months, as stipulated by the law.
Parts of the NJC statement that announced the new appointment read, “President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, has approved the appointment of Hon. Justice Zainab A. Bulkachuwa as the Acting President of the Court of Appeal, following the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.”
The statement added that Bukachawa would be sworn-in at 10am on Friday (today) by the CJN, Justice Aloma Muktar, at the Supreme Court.