A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, September 23, questioned the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to forward the names of 11 lawyers nominated for appointment as judges of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to the Senate for screening and confirmation.
1st News had reported in April 2020 that Buhari picked 11 names from among the 33 names recommended to him; by the National Judicial Council (NJC) for appointment as FCT High Court Judges.
Furthermore, Buhari forwarded the 11 names to the Senate for screening; but was rejected by the upper legislative chamber.
The Senate had admitted that the president had no role to play in the appointment of FCT Judges.
In a judgment on Wednesday, Justice Inyang Ekwo held that President Buhari acted in contravention of the provision of Section 256(2) of the Constitution when he forwarded the recommended names; sent to him by the National Judicial Council (NJC), to the Senate.
Justice Ekwo said the only instance where the President can forward NJC’s recommendation to the Senate, in respect of a High Court judge’s appointment; is when it relates to the appointment of a head of the court, as the Chief Judge.
The judge however held that the fact that President Buhari contravened the provision of Section 256(2) of the Constitution did not affect the swearing-in of the judges; which was done by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the international community to take stronger action in eradicating terrorism acts; such as those perpetrated by Boko Haram in Nigeria; even as he demanded stronger international action against illicit flows of small arms and light weapons as well as acts of piracy.
He made this call on Tuesday night in a virtual address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The Nigerian president who addressed the assembly via a pre-recorded video statement; expressed deep concern over the worrisome development.
Specifically, Buhari referenced the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. He called on the international community to come to the aid of Nigeria in curbing the menace.
He said: “In Nigeria, we are still facing violent extremism from the insurgency of Boko Haram and bandits. We continue to count on our strong cooperation with UN counter-terrorism bodies; and neighbouring countries to overcome the terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin and the wider Sahel Region.
“We will vigorously sustain the rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement of victims of terrorism; and insurgency in the North-East. The North-East Development Commission has been established for that purpose,” he stated.