Justice Benedict Kanyip has emerged acting President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria following the exit of the substantive President, Justice Babatunde Adejumo who bowed out of the nation’s judiciary upon his attainment of mandatory 65 years of age.
Kanyip who is the most senior judge on the Industrial Court bench was nominated for appointment in the acting capacity by the National Judicial Council NJC pending his confirmation by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), has subsequently inaugurated the Judge with a mandate that he should endeavour to move the court forward in line with provisions of law and his oath of office.
President Buhari had on September 29 approved the appointment of Justice Kanyip pursuant to the provision of section 254 (B)(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
While inaugurating him, the CJN said it was a constitutional provision that the next most senior justice be appointed as the Acting President of NICN pending the conclusion for the process of the substantive President of the court.
He urged him to exhibit leadership qualities that will distinguish him to be able to shoulder the responsibility given to him.
“Take time to constantly look at the act that established NICN and be a practical man, check all the reports being sent to SCN and be sure they followed due process.
“Go round the divisions under the court and see things for yourself and work well with your brothers.
The CJN pleaded for the cooperation of the members of staff of the NICN in finding solutions to problems of the court’’.
Justice Kanyip hails from Anturung-Attakar in Kaura Local Government Area, Kaduna State.
He was appointed a Judge of the National Industrial Court in 2000 for an initial period of four years although with eligibility for a renewal for a further term of four years.
In June 2004, having completed the first term, his appointment for another term of four years was renewed, and he is now a tenured Judge of the Court.
Justice Kanyip attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, for his LLB, and the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, Nigeria for his BL.
He took up a teaching appointment as a Lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1987; and rose to the position of Lecturer II before leaving in 1992 for the National Commission for Colleges of Education as Legal Adviser in the rank of Principal Legal Officer.
In 1995 he was appointed Senior Research Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and rose through this appointment to the rank of Associate Research Professor of Law in 2000 when he joined the Court.
He is the author of numerous scholarly articles in the areas of consumer law, labour law, tax law and commercial law.
He also authored the book, Consumer Protection in Nigeria: Law, Theory and Policy (2005) and a joint author of the text: Elements of Commercial Law (1994).
Before his appointment. Kanyip was the Presiding Judge of the Abuja Judicial Division of the Industrial Court.
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The National Industrial Court is empowered to adjudicate on trade disputes, labour practices, matters related to the Factories Act, Trade Disputes Act, Trade Unions Act, Workmen’s Compensations Act and appeals from the Industrial Arbitration Panel.