NJC, CJN Onnoghen speak on alleged lopsided appointment of 14 Appeal Court judges

Nigerian Judges
Nigerian Judges used to illustrate the story

The National Judicial Council has denied media reports that it recommended 14 judges for approval as justices of the Court of Appeal, without including a single judge from the South-east.

The chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, through a spokesperson, also reacted to the report.

In a statement on Monday night by the NJC’ s Director of information, Soji Oye, the council distanced itself from the said list, describing the report as ‘fake news’.
It, however, confirmed an ongoing process for the appointment of new judges for the Appeal Court.

Sahara Reporters had on Monday published a list of 14 new justices of the Appeal Court who, according to the paper, were recommended for appointment by the NJC, without any inclusion of judges from the South-east.

The paper further said the list of judges, which was split into two categories; namely the priority and reserved list, had the wife of the NBA President, Mahmoud Mohammed, and that of a former President of the Bar, Bayo Ojo, in the priority list. It added that other judges on the priority list include I. G. Abundaga from Nasarawa State, M. B. Idris from Niger State and A. M. Talba from Adamawa State.

“Others are Justices Kadi M. M. Alkali from Adamawa State, A. I. Adenyangtso from Taraba, A. S. Umar and O. Z. Senchi, both 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 include Justices O. Itodo (Benue), M. A. Abdul Gafar (Kwara), D. D. Adeck (Nasarawa) D. G. Mann (Plateau) D. G. Goji (Adamawa) and Kadi U. B. Umar (Adamawa). Others are 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),” the medium reported.

But reacting to the publication, Mr. Oye urged Nigerians to discountenance the report.

“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 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 in a brief statement to PREMIUM TIMES on Friday night.

Also speaking on the development, Awassam Bassey, the Senior Special Assistant to the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the NJC, Walter Onnoghen, said the criteria for selection of judges follows a quota system, based on the zone for which a vacant position exists.

“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.

Also one of the Justices from Sokoto State and another from Kaduna State died at the stampede that occurred during pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia a couple of years back. To fill those vacancies in the Supreme Court, the equivalent number of Justices were elevated from the Court of Appeal, including Hon Justices Amina Adamu Augie CON, Ejembi Eko, Paul Adamu Galinje, and Sidi Dauda Bage, among others.

“Following these departures, vacancies were advertised and, in tandem with the quota system, it is expected that appointment to the vacant positions would come from the zones of their previous occupants.

“The Court of Appeal currently has 76 serving Justices from the original 85 appointed in the 16 Divisions of the Court spread across the six geopolitical zones of the country,” Mr. Bassey said in a text message to PREMIUM TIMES.


DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD:ADVERTISE HERE! CALL 07088095401


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.


  • Shahokaya

    Are Sahara Reporters editors now reporting from the office of Atiku?

  • forestgee

    The sooner they restructure this Country the better…injustice will never end. I appreciate the denial; we now expect the right thing to be done.

    • The prophet

      Remember, the man said the vacancy is for the vacant quota or zone. So if south east is not vacant don’t expect any appointment. I know that people like you always look for the names of ibos in every list of appointment without knowing the bases of the selection. All the ibos that were appointed by Jonathan what did they bring to South east that benefit the millions of ibos, it is nothing. They only enriched themselves.

      • forestgee

        I look for equity and justice NOT the names of anybody. The zones must hold people from the local areas accountable for performance

        • emmanuel

          That was how Buhari appointed people with low cognitive domain allover and Nigeria has been grounded with no hope of rescue

      • emmanuel

        Is there quota system in Nigeria? You must explain why the North got over eighty three percent of recruitment to the DSS recently and South got seventeen percent

    • FineBoy

      Kill the Judge from your area and a new one from your area will be appointed.

      Imagine FIFA appoints Referees from only one Country in the name if merit, who will officiate matches involving their home Country and other Nation

  • Afo

    NJC is political about its explanation and this is disappointing. However,the office of the CJN has made the matter explicitly clear to Nigerians in a very professional manner and this type of dealings with the public is commended. Sincerity is key in issues like this. What if the final list to be released is as lopsided as the one published?. Then NJC will eat its words.

    • whereto

      Clear to Nigerians ke? I no gree… It’s only clear to sane people. Some will still froth in the mouth and complain about things you haven’t even thought of.

  • Abdullah Musa

    I thought Bayelsa was part of Biafra.
    Now they have been told they cannot represent South East.

    • Hah!

      Point of order, please it is not Biafra but Biafraud!

      • emmanuel

        How you refuse to acknowledge that your part of the country is a fraud, built on lies and thrive in thievery, incest, voodoo, murderous heritage and violence. Only fit to leave with animals.

        • Hah!

          Thank God that my part our dear Nigeria give you luxurious accommodation and have no Evan, Vampire, kelapolo and notorious drug pushers who are paraded every week in Thailand , South Africa and Europe.

          • Shahokaya

            You mean you don’t have Otokoto, baby factories, fake drug and fake currency factories ?

          • Hah!

            aha! that is Biafraud we are taking about. Wayo people. By the way where is that coward called Kanu? I leant that Biafraud Senator is still crying. as a guarantor he is about to forfeit the 100M. Hahahah!

      • Abdullah Musa

        You are right my brother.
        The land of those who can only insult others in exercise of free speech.

    • emmanuel

      You cannot redirect this isuue – pig.
      Nigeria is a lost nation that exist in the minds of cheats like you

      • emmanuel

        *issue

      • Abdullah Musa

        I thank my Creator who gave me the brain to respect others.
        Where is it in my write up that I insulted you or anybody?

        • emmanuel

          I thought Bayelsa was part of Biafra.
          Now they have been told they cannot represent South East.
          There are several ways to call someone a f*ol. That is what you did.
          How did Biafra come in here?

      • Abdullah Musa

        And why do you care about what happens in Nigeria if it does not exist in your mind?

      • Julius

        Then get out of the country !

    • rules_emmanuelO.

      Please make sense! Bayelsa is a state in South-south Nigeria. There was mention of Geopolitical zones in the article, and not Biafra or no Biafra.

      • Abdullah Musa

        Biafran agitators claimed South-south as part of their territory.
        So I thought they should be comfortable being represented by a Bayelsan in federal appointment.

    • Julius

      Hahahahahahaha…they will also claim Lagos as part of biafraud when it fits their narratives. Thats what delusional people do !

    • tiwiex

      I thought Buhari said unity is not negotiable? So what’s the issue here?Seems he likes to eat his cake and have it. Y treat some parts like they are not part of Nigeria?

  • evidence

    Quota system; one of the bane of our development.

  • emmanuel

    Are these dumbs saying there is something like quota system in Nigeria, so a Justie from Sokoto dies and must be replaced from Sokoto? They should first of all balance the equation if they must so do. Nigeria is long overdue for fragmentation. The lopsidedness in the Judiciary over the years must end.
    The useless Southern Governors would ask for more allocation, but will never talk about the inequalities that abound everywhere.
    Nigeria in on the path of disintegration and future problem that may never be mitigated when it starts.

    • Oladele

      Emma, there is really nothing wrong with our system, it is with the operators. Yar’Adua did well by going with seniority so when there was IGP vacancy, he appointed Onovo as the most senior, Judiciary, he elevated Kutigi, as the most senior. So there can be merit within quota. If you and I will be honest; all of us have that tendency to abuse positions. To avoid Fulani man putting all Fulanis in position or Igbo or Yoruba doing same was the principle behind Fed Character and quotas. It does not necessarily kill merits if operators are fair minded and competition is healthy. Take for instance, once you become a DIG in Nigeria you become sad. It was a long time ago anyone become IGP from DIG after Onovo. The culture since has shifted to retire all DIGs and find an AIG, is that good? We have very bad operators here.

      • FineBoy

        God bless you

      • Julius

        Well said !

      • emmnanuel

        So what went wrong? I know very well about the Judiciary. It has been long structured never to produce a Southerner in the capacity of IGJ and PCOA. Chief Judge of Federal high Court is sometime ignore. Check history.
        In Nigeria judiciary, there has never been any tendency of abuse by non-foolanis.
        Take the profile of the Judiciary and tell me that quota system is recognised there. Justices who are inexperienced are spirited up in readiness to undercut southern seniors.
        Most times people comment based on published reports, not what they have researched or observed over time. We should avoid being reactionary to lot of news items, so that we do not get messed up by fake news or jaundiced publications.

  • Gary

    Folks, this is what is killing Nigeria: the promotion of mediocrity and incompetence over merit and diligence in the name of quota.

    It is from the ranks of the poorly-trained and corrupt lower court judges that the quotas for the higher courts will be filled.
    So what is the incentive for any judge to strive for excellence and not always rule in favor of government to advance his career? An ignorant judge can simply warm his bench (pardon the pun) yet be promoted via quota to become the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

    It is thus likely that a Zamfara judge will likely get to the Supreme Court than an astute judge like Gabriel Kolawole.

    In the name of Quota, they have killed the Civil Service, Education and now the Judiciary. And we now see and bemoan the results everywhere and everyday. But when it comes to filling top management at NNPC, the military high command, giving out oil blocks and key cabinet positions, the story changes.
    And the Mumus from the South go along with it and some even publicly thank Buhari for “allowing” INEC to conduct free and fair elections in Anambra State. Like well-trained trained dogs given a bone.

    • Shahokaya

      Kill two of the Judges from your zone so that they can be replaced by your people.

      • FineBoy

        Hahaha.
        Good one

      • Gary

        You eRat dimwits are at it again. Justices to the US Supreme Court are appointed on quotas? Morons.
        You equate judicial districts with quotas. Pray, take a look at The resumes of the Justices of the US Supreme Court or even the appellate court judges and come tell us if any there is not on merit and the product of a reputable law school and judicial background.
        Yes, reasonable folks can and should insist on equal access and opportunity but no society that expects progress can demand equal outcomes simply based on geographic origins. The result is the bizarre and unjust rulings that we see daily in the lower courts and even at the level of the Supreme Court awarding votes or even an election to a candidate whose name was not on the ballot. Only in Nigeria.
        I know these are concepts well above the IQ of Lai’s paid online minions.

      • Julius

        lolz…please, he might just do that !

      • Daniel

        Lmao

    • Oladele

      All over the world Supreme court Justices are by quota! And you cannot promote from elsewhere other than from among judges. You can argue against abuse but not that judges have to come from a specific place based on merit which in itself defeats the principle of equity! You run a written test for six judges and all best six are from the same LGA what happens? The day someone from a nearby village known for acrimonious relationship from where the judges came from will not get another to take over the case. So judges must represent varied interest and leanings. That is global best practice.

      • newday

        The chief Justice of the US Supreme Court was chosen from outside the supreme court when a vacancy occurred.& it was more by ideology than by quota… What is baffling is that in Nigeria people who have already disqualified themselves by holding on to an anti secular ideology& therefore can’t be effective, are appointed.judges..

    • FineBoy

      Check what happens in USA.

      Stop this tirade of merit that you have no Universal yardsticks to measure it

      • Julius

        lolz, thank you ! Trump just sent an unqualified young man’s name to the senate for Judgeship confirmation. Besides, these people you are responding to do not care for facts. Facts, logic and reasons are their enemy.

        • Gary

          Used to place you slightly above your fellow BMC mercenaries but desperation at no longer having free rein to bamboozle readers, is sinking you into the mud.
          You regime apologists have no shame in putting Buhari’s Nigeria in the company of Trump, Maduro in Venezuela, Dos Santos in Angola (before he stepped down for his crony) and Jacob Zuma of South Africa.
          That is how low and pitiful you now have to resort in defending dullard from Daura that is well past his sell-by date.
          The things you folks have to do for propaganda stipend.

          • FineBoy

            Same Dauda dullard is chosen to rule over your father’s house.

            U can join Mediterranean sea fish

          • Julius

            It’s always about stipend when people do not go along with your irrational lazy critics. Makes me wonder who is paying you for your hatred of the government Buhari in particular. Didn’t you and your ilks always talking about western countries ? So why are you foaming in the mouth now that I pointed to what your saviour Trump is doing ? It’s a fact.

  • Factsayer

    10 lawyers graduated (law school ) from Zamfara with 3rd class whike 200 lawyers from Imo with second class .
    Through the magic of Nigerian system, those 10 lawyers with 3rd class have more 200 % chance of being a Justice of Supreme Court than 200 lawyers from Imo.

    • newday

      Yet, the Zamfarans don’t ascribe to the reality of a secular Nigeria, which is the basis of our laws in the first place. The conspiracy against the SE persists in every sphere . Solution? Let my people go!

    • Pawa2

      Even if we take what you said to be true, in any profession the class of degree you got begins to reduce in insignificance when you start to vie for higher positions.

      • Factsayer

        What I said is true. Cut off mark for u to enter school is F9 in Imo state

        • Pawa2

          Off to Imo state you go then.

  • Pawa2

    On that list there is also no one from Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo and Ekiti; (and the man from Kwara state is not from the Yoruba speaking part). All those states have a combined population far higher than that of the South East states. However, unless you have the full list of judges in the appeal court you cannot know how many came from where.

    • Julius

      They do not care for facts or logic. Haters do not care !

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    The cowards are stepping back . They cannot defend the wickedness they planned before the public ..

    • Julius

      There you go ! . You won’t believe anything from this government even if they appoint your mother for any position. Such is your life. Talking about coward, where were you and kanu when the Buhari was in your condemned land ? I asked you why are you so upset about any appointment in a country you claimed you don’t belong to ? I wonder why there is no answer from you.

    • abodes_124

      Twan they say it was fake news.
      Our journalist should try and seek corroboration of news items they receive particularly when they receive it from ‘sources’

      • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

        Please do not believe them. They wanted to release that list but the outcry made them step back. I can assure you that the list has being in the offing for more than a week waiting to be released . I am in the sanctus sanctorum of Nigerian politics.

  • Julius

    Now what ?

  • henry

    Many are ignorant of the workings and the rules that guide employment. As far as judiciary is concern it is quota system, and once the person from your region retire they replace him from the same zone.South East should go and learn how things work and stop being a weeping child. There is one important thing that some of the zones need to know is the type of person we recommend as Judges, why the North recommend young adults, the south recommend old Judges which before they reach the position of chief Justice they already clock 70years.And appointment is by seniority. whosoever is the senior and still below 70years becomes the chief Justice.The Nigeria Army is the same promotion in the Army and employment is based on the vacancy from your state.if you don’t understand you will just be wailing for nothing.

    • Gary

      Dummy, if one zone or region produces a thousand lawyers annually while another produces fifty half-baked lawyers who studied Islamic Law, guess the probability of which zone’s lawyers will be quicker in getting into the higher courts?
      Ding, ding….!!
      Buhari’s daughter who just left Law Schools a year ago will be a High Court judge in Katsina State whole her counterparts in the South, equally qualified and brilliant are still looking for briefs or competing with hundreds from their own zones for a seat on the Bench.
      That is the reality of Quota System and why it is retrogressive and patently unjust in putting geography above competence and enterprise.
      And why we must Resteucture the country to live together or split the union so that all the component parts of Nigeria can find fulfillment among their own people. We are simply postponing the evil day to pretend otherwise.

  • Achim Albert

    We are Licensed, Government approved recruitment agency in Nigeria . We wish to inform you that CANADA,USA,SOUTH AFRICA, TURKEY, GERMANY AND SPAIN is actively seeking for workers and professionals to help grow its strong national workforce. If you have Candidates(SKILLED/UNSKILLED) who are looking for PERMANENT WORK PERMIT in the above countries are available. JOB OFFER from a foreign employers and are sure of what to do next, we have the perfect tools to get you started. We would be happy to assist you with the process from the beginning to end. You are most welcome to contact us so we can help you explore your
    options.

    AVAILABLE JOB OPENING INCLUDE:

    (1) Fish Packer (2) Fish Machine Tender, (3) Fish Cleaner (4) Fish Bin Tender, (5) Machine Operator, (6) Warehouse Supervisor (7) Drivers, (8) Brine Maker (9) Cooker (10) Cooker Mechanic (11) Food Production Worker (12) Manufacturing Assistant (13) store Manager, (14) Masseur (15) Store keepers (16) Chief Butcher, (17) Gardener (18) Electrician (19) Waiter/Waitress (20)
    Mechanic (21) Front Office (22) Chefs (23)
    MBar Manager (24) Store Keeper (25) Room Service (26) Banquet Manager (27) Factory Supervisor (26) Security Officer (27) Sales
    & Marketing Manager (28) Waiter/Waitress (29) Cashiers (30) Steward (31) Receptionist (32) Retail Manager

    BENEFITS:
    1. Accommodation – Provided. 2.Ticket -Provided. 3. Medical – Provided. 4. Transportation – Provided. 5. Working hours 8a.m-4p.m [Mon-Sat] 6. Vacation – 28.5days every year 7. Salary/Wages – $25 per hour for Unskilled and $36 per hour for Skilled. 8. Contract – 2 years. 9. Extra time – $18 per hour 10. Insurance & Pension – According to Quebec Labor laws. 11. Other Benefits – Family Status, group benefit and other fringe benefits. 12. We pay our foreign Clients $74 USD for each Candidate you deploy to us. 13. Required number of candidates – 100 workers (Skilled and Unskilled) Note All the Visa process takes 4-8 weeks. We Give The Best In Recruitment, Through An Excellent Immigration Consulting Services. For any question, asking or query feel free to contact: Paul Akinindibo
    Tel no:+2349063109338
    NIGERIA ADDRESS: Shehu Shagari Way,Maitama Abuja Nigeria
    2023 Rue Cremazie Quebec city, QC G1R 1B8 Canada