A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) under the aegis of the Nigeria Centre for Justice and Rule of Law (NCJRL), has asked the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad to pick the most honest senior justices in the Supreme Court representing the interest of the six geo-political zones to handle Atiku Abubakar’s petition at the Supreme Court.
This followed the resolve by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate for the February 23, 2019 poll, Atiku Abubakar to appeal the judgement of the tribunal at the Supreme Court in the next few days.
In a statement jointly signed yesterday by the Chairman and Secretary of the NCJRL Dr James Adeoye and Barrister Yusuf Abdullahi, said inexperienced judges should be shut-out of the panel.
“Our findings revealed that so far the CJN has tentatively pencilled down himself, Justice Rhodes-Vivor, Justice Baba Aji, Justice Inyang Okoro, Justice Cletus Nwaeze, Justice Musa Datijo and Justice Augie to hear Atiku’s petition that is expected to be filed next week.
“We also reliably gathered that the CJN may replace some of these judges with some of the new judges President Muhammadu Buhari requested to be recruited in June, and that is the reason the NJC is in a hurry to interview the in-coming new judges.
“The panel should be based on seniority as has been the tradition and any deviation from this will give credence to speculations in the public space that the CJN was brought into office to do a hatchet job.
“Even if the CJN for any reason, which is subject to different interpretations, decides to deviate from the norm, the panel should represent the interest of the various geo-political zones in the country,” the group said.