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Court fixes June 25 for ruling on suit seeking to stop appointment of justices

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Paul Usoro

The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed June 25 for judgment in a suit seeking to stop the appointment of 18 new Justices of the Court of Appeal.

Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo picked the date yesterday after parties in the matter adopted their processes in relation to the suit.

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The plaintiff, the Incorporated Trustees of Alaigbo Development Foundation, prayed Ekwo to stop the appointment on the ground that the South East region was marginalised in the selection.

Its lawyer, Mr. Max Ozoaka, argued that the selection of the Justices, done by the National Judicial Council (NJC), violated the provisions of the 1999 Constitution through lopsidedness.

However, the NJC (1st respondent), represented by Mr. Paul Usoro, while arguing its preliminary objection, prayed Justice Ekwo to decline jurisdiction on the ground that the plaintiff lacked locus standi to institute the case.

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Usoro told the court that the plaintiff was an Igbo socio-cultural organisation and that its aims and objectives did not include instituting cases of public interest.

The senior lawyer further objected to the case on the grounds that the photocopy of certificates of incorporation of the group, certified by a court registrar, was tendered, and that only officials of the Corporate Affairs Commission are empowered to certify such documents. He, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the case.

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