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Lawyer sues Buhari over FCT judges’ appointment

An Abuja-based lawyer, Oladimeji Ekengba, has sued President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate, National judicial council and others before a Federal High Court, Abuja over the alleged breach of Section 256 (2) of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 in the appointment of judges of the FCT High Court.

Ekengba is contending that President Buhari breached the constitution when on July 7 he forwarded the names of 11 persons recommended for appointment as judges of the FCT High Court to the Senate for confirmation.

In the suit, the lawyer wants the court to make an order of interim injunction restraining the respondents from screening, confirming, or swearing in the persons as judges of the FCT High Court pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

He also wants the court to make a declaration that by virtue of the provision of Section 256 subsection 2 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the President of Nigeria cannot abdicate his duties and responsibilities to the Senate for the appointment of persons as judges of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.

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The lawyer insisted that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad and the NJC yielded to the clamour for more judges in the FCT High Court to ease the workload on the FCT High Court but it is absurd that the President decided to send only 11 names out of the 33 names painstakingly and thoroughly screened/interviewed and recommended by the NJC to the President since April 2020.

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Also joined as respondents are the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Senate of the Federal Republic, the Clerk of the Senate, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, and the National Judicial Council.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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