The Registered Trustees of Social Justice and Civil Rights Awareness Initiative has instituted a legal action at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja over the non appointment of a south easterner as judicial officer in the Federal Capital Territory High Court.
Specifically, the suit is seeking an order of court compelling President Muhammadu Buhari to include at least one person from the South East into the list of newly appointed judges of the FCT High Court.
The group wants a declaration that the “appointment and/or attempted appointment of judges to the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory without the inclusion of at least one person from the whole of South East Nigeria is unlawful for contravening the 1999 Constitution.”
The group is seeking the court to mandate President Buhari, the National Judicial Council, the Judicial Service Committee of the Federal Capital Territory, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Senate and the Federal Character Commission to discontinue the recruitment exercise of appointing new judges to the FCT High Court forthwith until they comply strictly with the Federal Character principles as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.
Therefore, the group is praying for, “A declaration that the attempt to appoint eleven judges to the bench of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory without the inclusion of a single person from any state in the whole of South Eastern Nigeria is discriminatory and against good conscience.”
The suit was filed by Alozie Nmerengwa Esq.
Meanwhile, following moves to swear in the newly appointed judges (today) Monday, Barrister Nmerengwa has written the Senate and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, drawing their attention to the suit in court, and demanding action.
“It will interest you to note that in the year 2018, seven persons were appointed as judges of the FCT High Court and none was considered from the entire South East Zone.”
Again, Again, sometime around 7th July, 2020, eleven names were forwarded to the Senate for confirmation as judges of the FCT High Court and none again was from the South East zone”, Nmerengwa wrote.