‘Why recent appointment of Appeal Court judges must be cancelled’
A group, Global Integrity Crusade Network (GICN), has protested against the recent appointment of some justices to the Court of Appeal, calling for its cancellation.
In a letter of protest, yesterday, addressed to the Chairman, Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) and Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, the group alleged the process of the appointment lacked transparency and due process.
The petition, signed by Compliance Officer of the group, Esther Wuese Iorhuna, argued that the commission must be seen to be playing the role of appointment, promotion, and discipline of judicial staff in an effective, efficient and trustworthy manner to ensure fair and proper administration of justice to the Nigerian populace.
GICN consequently called on the NJC, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Director-General of Department of State Services (DSS) as well as other relevant stakeholders to cancel the entire appointment process.
The petition reads in part: ‘’GICN is aggrieved to note that FJSC under your leadership has decided to recklessly desecrate the judiciary, which should be the last hope of the common man. Suffice it to state that Nigerians, particularly, those who followed events at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court last year, are yet to recover from the shocks as a result of shabby manner appointment of judges are done.
“We recall that it took the timely intervention of Mr. President before the anomaly created by the said appointment could be remedied.”
The group lamented: ‘Today, we are again faced with a worse situation where the FJSC has decided to conduct another appointment exercise for justices of the Court of Appeal, which many observers described as fraudulent, obscure, bias and apparent violation of due process.
“The enormity of the irregularities have attracted attention and controversy by the general public as reported in many national dailies.
“As a law-centric organisation, we strongly believe that the judiciary should lead the efforts of redeeming Nigeria from the manacles of corruption, poverty, insecurity, and hopelessness that have become insignia by which our country was identified in the international community.”
The petition further held that the appointment if not reversed, will continue to offend the Federal Character Principle as enshrined in Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution.
“It should be of paramount importance to FJSC to ensure that qualified men and women of proven integrity and character are appointed as heads of federal courts in the country.
“We hereby submit that the recent appointment of persons as justices of the Court of Appeal was done on ethnic, religious and primordial basis and far from the expectation of the overwhelming population of Nigerians who hate injustice”, the group stated.
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