Justice Inyang Ekwo of Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday ruled that the President Muhammadu Buhari, has acted in contravention of the law
The pronouncement followed a suit contending that Buhari sent the names of 11 candidates recommended to him by the National Judicial Council for appointment as judges of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory to the Senate for screening and confirmation.
The suit filed by an Abuja-based lawyer, Oladimeji Ekengba, said forwarding of the names of the 11 nominees by Buhari to the Senate was in breach of section 256(2) of the Nigerian Constitution.
Aside from faulting the sending of the names of 11 of the candidates to the Senate, Ekengba, in his suit, also contended that the President lacked the power to pick and choose whom among the candidates to appoint as judges recommended by the NJC.
He sought among other prayers, an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Senate from screening and confirming the candidates as judges of the FCT High Court.
Earlier, Buhari had picked 11 names from among the 33 recommended to him in April this year by the NJC for appointment as FCT High Court judges and forwarded the names to the Senate for screening. The upper legislative chamber had declined to act on the President’s list having admitted that it had no role to play in the appointment of FCT judges.
The 11 judges have been sworn in by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad.