Buhari Secretly Appoints New Judges He Previously Rejected As Unqualified

source: gazettengr
65

> President Muhammadu Buhari has controversially approved a list of 22 judges to federal court positions, barely a year after he rejected the same individuals as unqualified for the top judicial roles, Peoples Gazette can report. A ceremony that was left unannounced and kept as top secret until last night will be held for the inauguration of the 22 judges in Abuja today, people familiar with the matter said, adding that the National Judicial Council is responsible for misleading the president into believing that changes had been made to the list that was rejected last year. A spokesman for the president did not immediately return a request seeking comments. The NJC, a unit of the Supreme Court in charge of appointment, promotion and administration of judicial officers, met on November 16 and finalised the list of 22 judges to be admitted into the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory. The process was concluded amidst a veil of secrecy and nepotism. The new judges were either offspring, relatives or cronies of former or serving senior judicial officers, the list seen by The Gazette shows. Even though today is slated for the judges’ inauguration, the NJC has declined to make the names of the new judges public. Njideka Nwosu-Iheme, daughter of Supreme Court Justice Mary Odili and an in-law to former Court of Appeal Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme, was amongst those whose ties to the powerful cabal of the country’s judiciary gave them the upper hand in the battle for the highly-courted positions. She was rejected last year by Mr Buhari following petition from judicial reform advocates. Fatima Abubakar Aliyu, daughter of former Court of Appeal President Zainab Bulkachuwa whom The Gazette learnt has never held any position before in the judiciary, was also appointed a judge of the FCT High Court. The 35-year-old worked briefly under Vice President Yemi Osinbajo a special assistant. Even then, she was working from home, saying her husband did not want her to do strenuous hours, according to her former colleagues in the presidency. Both judges could not be reached for comments. Also being sworn today are Muhammad Mustapha Adamu, Madugu Mohammed Alhaji.....

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