President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered background checks on Federal High Court and Court of Appeal judges nominated and forwarded to him by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
It was further learnt that the President might have approved the compulsory retirement of Justices Adeniyi Ademola and Segun Tokode, both of the Federal High Court as recommended by the council.
A source in the Presidency, who spoke to the Punch on Sunday on condition of anonymity, said the two steps were in line with the present administration’s anti-corruption stance.
He said although the President believed that the NJC would have done due diligence before putting forward the judges for approval, there was the need for him to do some checks to ensure that no mistake was made in their nomination.
It was further learnt that the nation’s security agencies such as the Department of State Services and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were involved in the checks.
The source added that the development did not, in any way, mean that the President had refused to approve the judges’ appointments.
He stated, “On the appointment of judges into the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal, the President is looking at that as recommended by the NJC.
“The NJC obviously has done due diligence on the appointed judges. There is no question about that. It is expected that they would have done their duty.
“But giving the President’s emphasis on the war against corruption, he himself will obviously need to do some checks that will assure him that no mistake has been made.
“It is not that the President has refused to approve it. He is looking into the recommendation made before pushing them forward because the Senate will be involved.”