Law News
25 Federal High Court judges to emerge soon

There is an ongoing process to appoint 25 new judges for the Federal High Court, The PUNCH has learnt.

The last appointment process brought 12 judges to the court’s bench in 2012.

There are currently 54 judges spread across the Federal High Court Division in the country.

The ongoing appointment process, when completed, will bring the total number of the Federal High Court judges to 89.

A source who is familiar with the ongoing process told our correspondent that some of the candidates had undergone the security screening by the Department of State Service.

The source said, “I am aware that the applicants have undergone the security screening at the Department of State Security. With that, we can expect that the appointment process will be completed soon.

“The process is for the appointment of 25 judges for the Federal High Court.”

The process of appointing judges for federal courts involves the National Judicial Council and the Federal Judicial Service Commission. That of state court involves the State Judicial Service Commission and the NJC.

Another source told our correspondent that with 25 judges needed to be appointed for the Federal High Court, the FJSC was required to shortlist 50 applicants and send their names to the NJC, which would conduct further interviews for them.

“The way it is done is that the FJSC or SJSC, as the case may be, submits the double of the number of judges needed to the NJC. The NJC will then complete the process and then recommend the successful candidates to the President or the governor of the state concerned,” the source added.

The ongoing process will be the first appointment to be made for the Federal High Court under the new ‘2014 Revised National Judicial Council Guidelines and Procedural Rules of Appointment of Judicial Officers of all Superior Courts of Record in Nigeria’.

At a different forum, where a new Justice of the Supreme Court was sworn in on Thursday, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, said the new guidelines would ensure that unfit and improper persons were no longer appointed to the bench.

He said the process of appointing or elevating judges now begins “by advertisement in the media for the vacancy and calling for interested candidates to show interest in filling the vacancy.”

“The Chief Justices of Nigeria, serving and retired; serving and retired Justices of the Supreme Court; the Presidents of the Court of Appeal, serving and retired; and other heads of court as well as the President of the Nigeria Bar Association, were all required to nominate on behalf of the Bench and Bar respectively, such persons they deemed fit and properly qualified for elevation to our nation’s highest court,” the CJN said.

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