Appeal Court docket president counters NBA president over appointment of judges

The President of the Court docket of Appeal, Monica Dongban-Mensem, on Tuesday, faulted contemporary predominant feedback of the President of the Nigerian Bar Affiliation (NBA), Olumide Akpata, concerning the ongoing technique of appointing 18 judges for her court docket.

Ms Dongban-Mensem, who spoke at a webinar organised by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), acknowledged contrary to Mr Akpata’s assertion, there became as soon as nothing cross with appointing judges in anticipation that they would be taught on the job.

Mr Akpata had lately criticised the shoddiness of the interview conducted for the candidates by the National Judicial Council (NJC), which he acknowledged hurriedly interviewed 20 nominees within two hours.

The NBA president, a member of the NJC who became as soon as taking part in the council’s interview of judicial nominees for the principle time, also expressed shock that “Important honest elements that were every so often set to the nominees is doubtless no longer answered”.

He acknowledged he heard things love “they’ll be taught on the job” valid throughout the interview.


But speaking at the virtual ‘Roundtable on Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Judgments in the Nigerian Actual kind System’ organised by PACAC, Ms Dongban-Mensem acknowledged it became as soon as fashioned for judges to be taught on the job, as appropriate to other forms of job.

She acknowledged, “Any individual acknowledged there might possibly be room for studying and the President of the Nigerian Bar Affiliation took offence that any individual acknowledged that folk will be taught on the job. Who doesn’t be taught on the job?

“Professor Sagay, did every thing you would just restful assemble at the same time as you were appointed as chairman of PACAC? Has he no longer learnt some things? Has he no longer started taking a impress at one other things in a completely different intention?”

She acknowledged the inability of skill of a procure to answer to a demand on a explicit self-discipline became as soon as no longer adequate grounds to disclaim ”that person the opportunity of being elevated to an even bigger court docket’s bench”.

She acknowledged, “I imply, all of us be taught. Within the Court docket of Appeal, we take a seat in panels and we abet every other. Any individual might possibly possibly just know more about one thing. A pair of of the judges of the Court docket of Appeal might possibly possibly just no longer comprise had the privilege of sitting on maritime circumstances.

“Will you tell them the opportunity of being appointed on the Court docket of Appeal bench due to they assemble no longer know the which manner of maritime law? Don’t they know other things? Will they no longer be taught from others?

“These are one of the necessary things that expose our decisions. So, folks ought to be a chunk of bit kind with the judiciary after they plod out and strive to criticise and throw every thing away.”

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She acknowledged despite the barrage of assaults on judges, “I will command you that there are males and females of integrity in the judiciary.”

‘Politics can’t be kept out of appointment of judges’

She also acknowledged there became as soon as nothing cross in politicians’ foyer for the appointments of candidates from the constituencies as judges.

“The interests are varied. We’re completely different parts of the nation. That you would be in a position to possibly no longer utilize politics out of the appointment into the judiciary,” she acknowledged.

She added that whereas politicians were within their rights to foyer for his or her most standard candidates, the judiciary had at all times ensured that the most tantalizing candidates emerged.

The Appeal Court docket president acknowledged, “They’re representing their folks. So, that you might possibly possibly stay politicians from advocating for (sic) folks from their regions to be represented in judicial appointments.

“But I will command you, that is no longer what guides. We impress at all of these objects and procure the most tantalizing. If our bests have not been honest adequate, there might possibly be room for improve, we are restful studying, we comprise no longer closed the bus.”

Sagay, Falana, others weigh in

Numerous speakers, at the side of the chairman of PACAC, Itse Sagay, human rights legal professional, Femi Falana, and others also weighed on the topic.

Mr Sagay, a professor of law, acknowledged “cautious attention ought to be paid to the technique Judges are appointed” for the aim of the judicial system to be carried out.

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He also acknowledged there became as soon as “the necessity to glimpse the opinions of the local bar and colleagues concerning the well being of doable appointees for set of job, earlier than forwarding their names to the NJC.”

He charged judges no longer to merely churn out judgments but to at all times ensure that that justice became as soon as carried out in all their decisions.

He also steadily known as on them “to return to the pristine age when our judges’ chambers and courts were hallowed areas the set even angels feared to tread; the abilities when judges spoke and it became as soon as carried out due to they were an embodiment of excessive upright authority and as well they offered justice to all males in all matters.”

Yemi Candide-Johnson, who’s a member of Justice Reform Challenge (JRP), an organisation that is concerned with matters concerning the Nigerian judiciary, acknowledged “judges might possibly possibly just restful demand to be held to blame for the public belief which they relief”.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) added, “Properly chosen, they’ll be certified to meet the upright overview standards of effectivity and effectiveness and to be examined by the effective disposal of circumstances, the hours employed to assemble so, and the pride of the public who’s the major stakeholder.”

Mr Falana, also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, argued that the judges might possibly possibly just restful no longer be blamed fully for the rot without taking into consideration the contributions of attorneys to the declare.

He famed that whereas the judiciary had at all times endeavoured to self-discipline erring judges, the NBA had at all times abdicated its role of bringing erring attorneys to justice.

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