PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari’s newly approved list of justices of the Court of Appeal reflects staggering inequality, with 61 per cent of jurists coming from the North versus 39 per cent from the South.
The list also shows that 17 per cent are female against 83 per cent male.
In a letter addressed to the Chief Justice of Nigeria Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, Chief of Staff to the President Ibrahim Gambari says 18 names of jurists have secured President Buhari’s approval as justices of Nigeria’s Court of Appeal.
The justices are, according to the letter, approved “pursuant to §237 & §238 of the 1999 constitution… subject to their official seniority at the bench.”
The eighteen newly appointed justices include: Mohammed Danjuma (Sharia, Niger), Muhammad Ibrahim Sirajo (Plateau), Abdul-Azeez Waziri (Adamawa), Yusuf A. Bashir (Taraba), Usman A. Musale (Yobe), Ibrahim Wakili Jauro (Yobe), Abba Bello Mohammed (Kano), and Bature Isah Gafai (Katsina).
Others are: Danlami Zama Senchi (Kebbi), Mohammed Lawal Abubakar (Sokoto), Hassan Muslim Sule (Zamfara), Kenneth Ikechukwu Amadi (Imo), Peter Oyinkenimiemi Affen (Bayelsa), and Sybil Onyeji Nwaka-Gbagi (Delta).
The rest include: Olasunbo O. Goodluck (Lagos), A.I. Banjoko (Ogun), Olabode A. Adegbehingbe (Ondo) and Bola Samuel Ademola (Ondo).
The judicial appointment has, again, brought the issue of lopsidedness of President Buhari’s appointments to the fore.
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The ICIR recently analysed the top management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiaries, and found uneven geographical spread of senior appointments.
The North-East, North-West and North-Central occupy 60 per cent of all the NNPC appointments. Women, on the other hand, constitute only 25 per cent of NNPC’s top management.
Out of 40 senior management positions within the NNPC ranging from chief operating officers and managing directors of its subsidiaries to general managers’ roles in the corporation, 24 are occupied by Nigerians from the North while 16 are headed by those from the South.
Nigeria is diversified and is broadly made up of the North and the South. The Federal Character Commission Act seeks to promote, monitor and enforce compliance with the principles of the proportional sharing of all bureaucratic, economic, media and political posts at all levels of government.
Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution stipulates that the appointments into agencies of government should reflect the federal character without predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that government or in any of its agencies.
However, this provision is flagrantly disregarded by the Buhari despite his pledge to protect the constitution.