President Muhammadu Buhari, has on Tuesday, sent to the Senate, a list of 11 nominees, requesting their confirmation as new Judges of the Federal High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, .
A statement signed by the Special Assistant to the President of the Senate, Ezrel Tabiowo, stated that the request was made in a letter read during plenary by the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan.
The letter reads: “In accordance to Section 256 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, I have the honour to forward for confirmation by the Senate, the under-listed names of eleven (11) nominees as Judges of the High Court of the FCT, Abuja.”
The nominees are: Abubakar Husseini Musa (Adamawa State); Edward Okpe (Benue State); Babashani Abubakar (Borno State); Emuesiri Francis (Delta State); Jude Ogho (Delta State); Josephine Enobi (Edo State); Christopher Opeyemi Oba (Ekiti State); Mohammed Idris (Kano State); Hassan Maryam Aliyu (Kebbi State); Fashola Akeem Adebowale (Lagos State); and Hamza Muazu (Niger State).
Reacting, the Senate Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda, while relying on Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules, objected to the absence of a nominee from the FCT.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC – Ekiti Central), while coming under the same Point of Order, explained to the contrary, that the FCT already has Judges on the Bench of the FCT High Court.
“What is being done by the National Judicial Council at the moment, is to fill existing vacancies on the bench of the FCT Judiciary.
“What will become an issue, is if you take the list of the over 40 Judges of the FCT, and any particular State is missing, that is when it becomes an issue.
“A major criterion is to ensure that States that do not have anybody on the Bench are given priority. I just wanted to clarify that the FCT has Judges on the bench of the FCT”, the Lawmaker explained.
Also, Page 36 observed that the list did not include any Judge from the South-East region, but we cannot confirm if that was intentional, or just an oversight.