By Olalekan Awojodu
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum on Monday rejected the latest list of nominated candidates for appointment as Justices of the Court of Appeal, alleging that the original list has been compromise by politicians at the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC).
According to the group, the current developments was consequent upon the rejection of the merit list submitted to the Commission by the Prescient of the Court of Appeal(PCA) Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem.
The statement was jointly signed by Mr Yinka Odumakin, South West, Chief Guy Ikoku, South East, Senator Bassy Henshaw, South South and Dr. Isuwa Dogo, Middle belt.
It reads partly: ” It is part of the constitutional responsibilities of the PCA to scrutinize candidates and present a list of competent and qualified candidates to FJSC for consideration and onward transmission to the National Judicial Council for appointment.
“It is quite surprising that of the 20 candidates on preferred list, all the candidates picked from the North excluded Christians and with three khadis on board for a court that needs experts in various areas of law, including customary law.
“The list of the PCA was said to have reflected all such needs but whimsically overturned at the FJSC under the guise of Federal Character.
“But for the nepotism that is celebrated in Nigeria today, what is the basis of not having a Christian on such list from the entire northern Nigeria.
The group reminded that as a multi-ethnic and religious country FJSC list should be trashed by the National Judicial Council (NJC) immediately for the original list prepared by the President of the Court of Appeal to avoid lawsuit on this matter,”