The Senate on Tuesday received a formal request from President Muhammad Buhari for the confirmation of 11 nominees as Judges of the Federal High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The request is contained in a letter read at plenary by President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.
The letter reads:
“In accordance to Section 256 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, I have the honour to forward for confirmation by the Senate, the under-listed names of 11 nominees as Judges of the High Court of the FCT, Abuja.”
The nominees according to letter are: Abubakar Husseini Musa (Adamawa); Edward Okpe (Benue); Babashani Abubakar (Borno ); Emuesiri Francis (Delta); Jude Ogho (Delta); Josephine Enobi (Edo); and Christopher Opeyemi Oba (Ekiti State).
Others are: Mohammed Idris (Kano State); Maryam Aliyu (Kebbi State); Fashola Akeem Adebowale (Lagos State); and Hamza Muazu (Niger).
The Minority Whip, Sen.Philip Aduda (PDP-FCT), while relying on Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules, objected to the absence of a nominee from the FCT.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti Central), while coming under the same point of order, explained to the contrary that the FCT already had Judges on the bench of the FCT High Court.
“What is being done by the National Judicial Council at the moment is to fill existing vacancies on the bench of the FCT Judiciary.
“What will become an issue is if you take list of the over 40 Judges of the FCT and any particular state is missing, that is when it becomes an issue.
“A major criterion is to ensure that states that do not have anybody on the bench are given priority.
“I just wanted to clarify that FCT has Judges on the bench of the FCT”, the lawmaker explained.