- The FJSC has shortlisted 29 judges of the court of appeal to fill six vacant positions at the supreme court bench
- According to section 231(3) of the 1999 constitution, the position is open to legal practitioners with a minimum of 15 years post-call
- In a letter dated June 13 by the NBA judicial committee's chairman, Babatunde Ajibade, none of the 23 lawyers who applied were shortlisted
FCT, Abuja - The Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) has sidelined lawyers, including the Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), from its ongoing recruitment process for six supreme court vacancies.
According to The Punch, 23 lawyers, including eight SANs, applied for the position.
Documents containing the shortlisted candidates revealed that only judges of the court of appeal were shortlisted.
President Buhari breaks silence on former CJN's resignation, confers biggest Nigerian award to Tanko
Meanwhile, the position was open to legal practitioners with a minimum of 15 years post-call experience, as stated in section 231(3) of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
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According to the documents, 29 judges from the court of appeal from five geopolitical zones made the list. Below is the list:
Northcentral - 5
Northwest - 5
South-south - 5
Southwest - 5
Southeast - 9
The chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, who also served as the chairman of FJSC, on January 19, 2022, in a letter to stakeholders, including the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), requested the nomination of suitable candidates “to fill six present and potential vacancies at the Supreme Court.”
NBA sent 23 names to CJN-led commission for supreme court vacancies
According to the NBA, 23 lawyers who showed interest in being called to the apex court bench were forwarded to the FJSC for consideration.
In another letter dated June 13, the chairman of the NBA judicial committee, Babatunde Ajibade (SAN), to his colleagues showed that only judges of the court of appeal were shortlisted while lawyers were sidelined.
The shortlist reflected the tradition of elevating only the appeal court judges to the apex court.
Supreme Court Justices Blast CJN Over Violation of Rights
Recall that legit.ng reported that justices of the supreme court have written to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, demanding why he abandoned his responsibilities.
They expressed their displeasure through a letter which was signed by 14 justices of the apex court, containing questions on the deteriorating state of affairs in the court and why some justices' rights are denied.
The issues raised included but were not limited to diesel supply, internet services to justices’ residences, training for justices, and epileptic power supply to the courts.