The National Judicial Council has reacted to a statement alleging that the council recommended 14 judges for approval as justices of the Court of Appeal, without including a single judge from the South-east, saying it is unfounded rumour.
Sahara Reporters had on Monday reported that NJC has recommended 14 new justices for the Appeal Court and no South-eastern judges were included in the list.
But in a swift reaction through statement 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.
According to Sahara Reporters, 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,”