The Alaigbo Development Foundation(ADF) has petitioned President Mohammadu Buhari and the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Mohammed to protest the on-going appointment of Justices of the Court of Appeal which, according to it was being “manipulated to deliberately deny the South-East its quota and appropriate number of Justices in the Court of Appeal, based on the principles of Federal Character as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution”.
In the petition, signed by ADF President, Prof. Uzodinma Nwala and dated 15th February, 2021, ADF called on the authorities to intervene in the “on-going exercise by the National Judicial Council(NJC), which made recommendations for appointment of certain persons as Justices of the Court of Appeal, because of the unfortunate, improper and unjustifiable decision of the NJC to marginalize and emasculate the South-East geo-political zone in the exercise.
ADF said that it was very unjust and unfair for only one(1) Justice to be appointed from the South East out of twenty(20) Justices that are being appointed from the six geopolitical zones, whereas the other zones were allocated as follows: North-West(8), North- East(3), North-Central(2), South-West(4), South-South(2).
ADF in a statement by Chief Abia Onyike, Chairman of its Media and Publicity Bureau, described the recommendation by the NJC as a brazen act of injustice and inequity meted against the South-East and appealed to President Buhari and the CJN Justice Tanko Mohammed to intervene and save the situation.
The Foundation argued that to allow the current exercise characterized by lack of transparency and political maneuvers to sail through “would be antithetical to the evolution of an upright judiciary”.
ADF further noted that “the only way to bring about the integrity of the Judiciary and citizens confidence is by ensuring that the process of appointment of persons to such high positions is in accordance with due process”.