By Ndubuisi Michaels
The Senate on Tuesday received a formal request for the confirmation of 11 nominees as Judges of the Federal High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The request was contained in a letter read on the floor during plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
The letter reads: “In accordance to Section 256(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, I have the honour to forward for confirmation by the Senate, the under-listed names of eleven (11) nominees as Judges of the High Court of the FCT, Abuja.
The nominees are: Abubakar Husseini Musa (Adamawa State); Edward Okpe (Benue State); Babashani Abubakar (Borno State); Emuesiri Francis (Delta State); Jude Ogho (Delta State); Josephine Enobi (Edo State); Christopher Opeyemi Oba (Ekiti State); Mohammed Idris (Kano State); Hassan Maryam Aliyu (Kebbi State); Fashola Akeem Adebowale (Lagos State); and Hamza Muazu (Niger State).
The Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda, while relying on Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules objected to the absence of a nominee from the FCT.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC – Ekiti Central), while coming under the same point of order, explained to the contrary that the FCT already has Judges on the bench of the FCT High Court.
“What is being done by the National Judicial Council at the moment is to fill existing vacancies on the bench of the FCT Judiciary.
“What will become an issue is if you take list of the over 40 Judges of the FCT and any particular state is missing, that is when it becomes an issue.
“A major criterion is to ensure that states that do not have anybody on the bench are given priority. I just wanted to clarify that FCT has Judges on the bench of the FCT”, the lawmaker explained.
In a related development, the President also requested the upper chamber to confirm the appointment of three members of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
“In compliance with the provision of Section 154(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), and pursuant to Section 1(2) and (3) of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act LFN 2004, I write to request for confirmation by the Senate, the following three nominees for appointment as members of the Code of Conduct Bureau. The curriculum vitae of the nominees are attached herewith.
They are: Barrister Ben Umeano (Anambra State – South East); Hon. Johnson Abonaema (Edo State – South South); Olayinka Babatunde Balogun (Ogun State – South West).
Also to be confirmed is the appointment of Umar Garba Danbatta, as Executive Vice Chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for a second term of five (5) years.
According to President Buhari, the nominee’s appointment is In accordance with the provision of Section 8(1) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003.
Meanwhile, the confirmation of the nomination of Idahagbon Williams Omoregie for appointment as Commissioner of the Federal Civil Service Commission was referred by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on Establishment and Public Service.
The Senate President also referred the nominations of Usman Mahmud Hassan as Commissioner of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission to the Committee on National Planning and Economic matters; Tella Adeniran Rahmon as Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission to the Committee on INEC; Suleiman Sani as Career Ambassador; and the appointment of 41 Non-Career Ambassadors to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
The Committees are expected to submit their reports to the Senate in two weeks.