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Just In: Justice Tsoho’s Swearing In As Acting CJ, Federal High Court Under Threat



The scheduled swearing in of Justice John Tsoho as the acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court was on Friday put under threat.

The swearing in was supposed to be performed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, at the Supreme Court complex.

Unlike the Supreme Court which does not play with time, the event slated for 10AM could not hold as the CJN and other Justices of the apex court were conspicuously absent in the main courtroom, venue of the ceremony.

Sign that things were not well was felt when as at 9:45AM, only few guests were seen in the courtroom including Justice Tsoho.

Apart from judiciary correspondents, the other noticeable faces were few staff of the Federal High Court, and family members of Justice Tsoho.

In an effort to ascertain the likely cause of the delay, it was learnt from a source who preferred annonimity that the CJN was “waiting for clearance” from above.

At exactly 11:04AM, former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Michael Aandooka SAN, the only notable dignitary in the courtroom had to leave the Supreme Court premises.

As at 11:14AM, the time of filing this report, guests had seen deserted the courtroom, while few others sat patiently, hoping that the swearing in will eventually hold.

Unconfirmed reports have it that the authority is rooting for Justice Zainab Nyako, who is next to Justice Tsoho.

Justice Tsoho hails from Benue state, and replaces Justice Abdul Kafarati who retired from service on Thursday at the age 65 years.

Justice Tsoho was appointed judge of the Federal High Court on November 12, 1998.

He was born on June 24, 1959 in Mbaduku, Vandeikya local Area of Benue State.

Tsoho attended Saint Anthony’s Primary School Chenge-Mbaduku from 1967 -1972, and proceeded to St Michael’s Secondary School Alaide, where he obtained his WASC in 1977.

From 1978 – 1979, he also attended Murtala College of Arts, Science and Technology, Makurdi for his IJMBE diploma.

Justice Tsoho obtained his Bachelor of Law Degree LL.B (Hons) in 1984 and (Bar. at Law) in 1985 from Nigeria Law School.

The new acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court has work experience from several private legal practice.

He was appointed Inspector of Area Court, Benue State Judiciary in January 1986 and Magistrate in 1987.

Justice Tsoho was elevated to the post of the Chief Magistrate in 1988 and acting Chief Registrar, Benue State High Court in 1997

The appointing authority, National Judicial Council (NJC) had in May when its notified the substantive Chief Judge,J Kafarati of his pending retirement, recommended Justice Tsoho who is next in hierarchy for appointment as the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.