President Muhammadu Buhari has given his long-awaited consent to the appointment of 12 Justices for the Court of Appeal bench.
The National Judicial Council in a statement by its Director of Information, Mr. Soji Oye, on Wednesday, said that the President also approved the appointment of nine judges for the Federal High Court and seven for the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
In all, 28 nominees were approved for various judicial positions by the President.
The NJC had last year sent the names of the various nominees to the President for approval.
Confirming the presidential approval coming over seven months on Wednesday, Oye said, “President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the appointment of 29 judicial officers for the Court of Appeal, Federal High Court and the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.”
He listed the 12 judges elevated from the High Court to the Court of Appeal bench to include a wife of the incumbent President of the Nigerian Bar Association (Abubakar Mahmoud), Justice P. A. Mahmoud; a wife of a former NBA President (Chief Bayo Ojo), Justice F. O. Ojo; a son of a former Justice of the Supreme Court (the late Justice Niki Tobi), Justice Ebiowei Tobi; and a son of a former Chief Justice of Nigeria (Justice Idris Kutigi), Justice Mohammed Idris.
They also include judges of the Federal High Court, Justice Gabriel Kolawole and Justice Bilikisu Aliyu.
Others are Justice J. G. Abundaga, Justice A. S. Umar, Justice I. A. Andenyangsto, Justice A. M. Bayero, and Justice A. M. Lamido.
Also on the list is a judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Abubakar Talba, who in 2013 gave the pension thief, Yakubu Yusuf, an option of N750,000 instead of two years’ imprisonment for stealing N22.9bn.
Justice Talba’s judgment was reversed by the Court of Appeal in March this year and replaced with stiffer punishment.
The nine nominees approved for the Federal High Court are Sunday Bassey Onu, Mrs. Adefunmilola Adekemi Demi-Ajayi, Peter O. Lifu, Obiora Atuegwu Egwuata, Mrs. Sa’adatu Ibrahim Mark, Mobolaji Olubukola Olajuwon, Aminu Bappa Aliyu, Tijjani Garba Ringim and Nkeonye Evelyn Maha.
Those for the FCT High Court are Binta Mohammed, Modupe Osho-Adebiyi, Gaba Venchak Simon, Babangida Hassan, Akobi Iyabeni Anna, Samirah Umar Bature and Asmau Akanbi Yusuf.
According to Oye, the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of NJC, Justice Walter Onnoghen, will swear in the Justices of the Court of Appeal on Friday, and the two other categories of appointees on Monday and Tuesday.
The statement said, “The Justices of the Court of Appeal will be sworn in by the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, National Judicial Council, Hon. (Mr.) Justice W. S. N. Onnoghen, GCON, on Friday 22nd June, 2018, by 10.00am.
“Those appointed for the Federal High Court will be sworn-in on Monday 25th June, 2018, at 2.00pm, and judges appointed for the High Court of the FCT are to be sworn in on Tuesday, 26th June, 2018, by 2.00pm at the main hall of the courtroom of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.”