The Nigerian National Judicial Council denies the circulating unbalanced appointments of Judges into Court of Appeal, credited to them by Sahara Reporters.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Walter Onnoghen in a statement made available to Premium Times by his spokesman, Director of information, Soji Oye, denied the lopsided appointment accredited to him, the said list, describing the report as ‘fake news’.
The CJN, therefore, confirmed the ongoing process for the new appointment of new Judges for the Appeal Court.
In his words: “The attention of the National Judicial Council has been drawn to a purported list of Judges newly appointed to the Court of Appeal being circulated in public space and tragically reported as a news item by credible news outlets.
“The Council wishes to dissociate itself completely from the said list as nothing of such emanated from it. Members of the public are also advised to discountenance the said list which is nothing but a figment of the imagination of the author (s).”
“In the days ahead, the council will speak more on the ongoing process for the appointment of Judges into different Cadre of the Nigerian Judiciary,” Mr. Oye said.
Reacting to this, Awassam Bassey, the Senior Special Assistant to the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the NJC, Walter Onnoghen, said: “I’m not holding brief for the NJC or the interview panels, neither am I confirming the authenticity or otherwise of the list circulating online, but it is pertinent to clarify that appointment to the Court of Appeal is by quota. Vacancies exist when Justices die, retire or are promoted to the Supreme Court. In such situations, applications are called from the zone of the previous occupant to replace him or her.
“Recently, there have been series of Justices in the Supreme Court who retired from the North, including the two previous Chief Justices of Nigeria, Hon Justice Aloma Mukhtar GCON, and Hon Justice Mahmud Mohammed GCON.
Recall that Afro Insider reported earlier that the CJN recommended 14 names of Judges for Court of Appeals which included no single Nigerian South Eastern Judges. The list which was splits in two – Priority names and Reserve names – includes:
Names on the Priority List:
“Justice P. A. Mahmoud, a Benue State indigene, and Nigerian Bar Association AB Mahmoud’s wife as the first name in the priority category.
Justice F. Ojo, an indigene of Kwara State and wife of Mr. Bayo Ojo, a former NBA President and Attorney-General of the Federation.
Justices I. G. Abundaga from Nasarawa State, M. B. Idris from Niger State, and A. M. Talba from Adamawa State.
Justices Kadi M. M. Alkali from Adamawa State
A. I. Adenyangtso from Taraba
A. S. Umar, from Kebbi,
O. Z. Senchi, from Kebbi
A. M. Lamido from Sokoto
B. B. Aliyu from Zamfara
Ebowei Tobi, son of the late Justice Niki E. Tobi from Delta State and
G.O. Kolawole from Osun State.
Names on the reserved list:
Justices O. Itodo (Benue)
M. A. Abdul Gafar (Kwara)
D. D. Adeck (Nasarawa)
D. G. Mann (Plateau)
D. G. Goji (Adamawa)
Kadi U. B. Umar (Adamawa)
Justices Y. A. Bashir (Taraba)
Z. B. Abubakar (Kebbi)
I. M. Sani (Kaduna)
F. L. Adamu (Kano)
I. B. Ahmed (Katsina)
M Y Uftsha’u (Zamfara)
P. O. Affen (Bayelsa) and
O. A. Ipaye (Osun).”