The Senate on Tuesday received a formal request from President Muhammad Buhari for the confirmation of 11 nominees as Judges of the Federal High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
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 11 nominees as Judges of the High Court of the FCT, Abuja.”
The nominees according to letter are: Abubakar Husseini Musa (Adamawa); Edward Okpe (Benue); Babashani Abubakar (Borno ); Emuesiri Francis (Delta); Jude Ogho (Delta); Josephine Enobi (Edo); and Christopher Opeyemi Oba (Ekiti State).
Others are: Mohammed Idris (Kano State); Maryam Aliyu (Kebbi State); Fashola Akeem Adebowale (Lagos State); and Hamza Muazu (Niger).
The Minority Whip, Sen.Philip Aduda (PDP-FCT), 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, Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti Central), while coming under the same point of order, explained to the contrary that the FCT already had 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).
The request sait it was “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.”
The letter gave the names as: Ben Umeano (Anambra – South East); Johnson Abonaema (Edo – South South); Olayinka Babatunde Balogun (Ogun State – South West).
Also to be confirmed is the appointment of Umar Danbatta, as Executive Vice Chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), for a second term of five (5) years.
Meanwhile, the confirmation of the nomination of Idahagbon Omoregie for appointment as Commissioner of the Federal Civil Service Commission was referred by the Senate President to the Committee on Establishment and Public Service.
The Senate President also referred the nominations of Usman Mahmud as Commissioner of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission to the Committee on National Planning and Economic matters.
He referred the nomination of Tella Adeniran as Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission to the Committee on INEC.
Lawan also referred the nomination of Suleiman Sani as Career Ambassador and 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.