Court Okays Suit Seeking To Compel President Buhari To Appoint 33 Judges
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted permission for the commencement of a suit seeking to compel President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint the 33 lawyers nominated by the National Judicial Council (NJC) as judges of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
In an ex-parte ruling on Wednesday, Justice Inyang Ekwo, granted leave to the applicant to file a writ of summons for an order of mandamus compelling President Buhari to appoint the judges in line with his constitutional duties as contained in Section 256 (2) of the Constitution.
Justice Ekwo stated that the leave granted the applicant is to enable him to commence the process of initiating the writ of summons for an order of mandamus against the President and that it did not amount to granting the order of mandamus itself.
Other respondents besides President Buhari include the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, the Clerk of the Senate, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), and the NJC.
This comes two months after Justice Ekwo faulted Buhari’s decision to forward names of only 11 out of the 33 lawyers nominated for appointment as judges of the FCT High Court.
Buhari had in July forwarded to the Senate for screening and confirmation names of only 11 lawyers out of the 33 recommended to him for appointment by the NJC.
The judges who have since been sworn in include Abubakar Musa, Edward Okpe, B. Abubakar, M. Francis, Jude Nwabueze, Josephine Enobi, Christopher Opeyemi, Mohammed Idris, Hassan Aliyu, Fashola Adebowale and Hamza Muazu.
The applicant, in his averment, stated that the president was wrong not to have appointed the 33 persons recommended to him by the NJC.
The ex-parte application was filed by a lawyer, Oladimeji Ekengba.