Lawyer Alleges Fraud In The Judiciary; Sues Jonathan, CJN

An Abuja-based legal practitioner has prayed the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to stop President Goodluck Jonathan or the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, from appointing five new judges for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Mrs. Chidinma Hilary Udebuani, who filed the suit wants the planned elevation of the new judges stopped, following alleged fraud in the appointment process said to have been skewed to favour specific states.

Udebuani, specifically fingered the Chief Judge of the FCT, Justice Ibrahim Bukar, in the alleged appointment fraud, accusing him of abusing the law by deliberately listing only people from certain parts of the country to head courts in the FCT, an action said to be in gross violation of the federal character principle.

The lawyer further argued that the law that established the FCT Judiciary, provided that it should have a composition of 37 judges excluding the Chief Judge, with the result that there shall be a judge from each state of the Federation and the FCT.

The plaintiff told the court that whereas some states like Katsina have about four judges currently sitting at the FCT high court, some states have none.

“The Chief Judge of the FCT has been in breach of the said legislation, which was meant to run with the spirit of the Federal character as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The breach manifests itself in the discriminatory method of appointment in the FCT High court, particularly of the High Court judges.

“That a state like Kastina has always had four Judges until recently when one of them was elevated to the Court of Appeal, still leaving three judges to the credit of Kastina, while other states have no representation,” she complained.