The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), has alleged that none of the 12 judges recently appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan into the National Industrial Court is legally qualified for the position.
TUC based its allegation on its findings that none of them are either graduates of recognized universities of not less than 10 years standing or possess 10 years knowledge and experience in the practice of law and practice of industrial relations and employment conditions in the country; as expected of them in Section 2 of the National Industrial Court Law 2006.
President-General of the congress, Comrade Peter Esele, in a petition he wrote to the chairman of National Judicial Council in Abuja, declared the judges unfit to adjudicate on labour matters in the country.
Esele berated the president of the National Industrial Court, Justice Babatunde Adejumo, “for not short-listing some qualified lawyers because they are not connected to the high and mighty in Nigeria”.
The union boss therefore called for thorough investigation into the appointments.
A copy of the petition dated June 11th, 2013, signed by Esele, read in part: “We have confirmed that none of the newly appointed judges of the National Industrial Court met the requirement of the law and therefore are not qualified to preside over the industrial relations and labour matters. We are therefore compelled, as a major stakeholder in the cases decided by the court to request for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the illegal appointment of the 12 new judges by the president. We have confidence that the chairman of the National Judicial Council and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Maryam Aloma Mukhtar, will not allow judges who are not qualified to preside over cases in the National Industrial Court”.
Jonathan had last month appointed 12 new judges for the National Industrial Court following the recommendations of the National Judicial Council.