The Abia State government has suspended the process leading to the selection of judges.
In a notice by the Abia State Judicial Commission, through its Deputy Secretary, Enyinnaya Nwabaghi, interested candidates were told that the initial exercise had been cancelled, while calling for fresh expression of interest.
The notice dated November 15, and entitled, “Cancellation of initial call for expression of interest for judgeship position in the Abia State Judiciary, call for expression on interest,” directed interested candidate to reapply, with closing date put for tomorrow.
The notice said: “Following the meeting of the Abia State Judicial Service Commission held on the 12th day of November 2021, I am directed to inform you that the initial call for expression of interest has been cancelled for obvious reasons. You are by this notice required to re-indicate your interest in the position of judgeship in the Abia State Judiciary.”
Stating the requirement, the notice said: “Pursuant to Rule 3 of the 2014, revised National Council Guidelines and Procedural Rules for the Appointment of Judicial Officers of all Superior Courts of Record in Nigeria, and following the announcement of vacancies in the office of Judge of the High Court, and the Customary Court of Appeal, the Judicial Service Commission by this Notice, hereby calls for expression of interest from suitably qualified candidates for appointment as Judges of the Abia State Judiciary.
“To be eligible to apply for this appointment, the candidate must satisfy the following minimum requirements: Applicant must be a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for a period of not less than 10 years with considerable knowledge and experience in the practice of Law. Applicant must be of good character and reputation with strong traits of diligence, hard work, honesty, integrity, sound knowledge of law and consistent adherence to professional ethics.
“Applicant must have: Active successful practices at the Bar, including satisfactory presentation of cases in Court as a Legal Practitioner either in private practices or as a Legal Officer in any Public Service and/ or satisfactory and consistent display of sound and mature judgment in the office as a Chief Registrar or Chief Magistrate, and/or credible record of teaching law, legal research in a reputable University and publication of Legal works.”
The notice also said: “Suitably qualified and interested candidates are to forward their applications with requisite qualifications and detailed curriculum vitae to the Secretary, Judicial Service Commission, Umuahia on or before November 19, 2021.
The selection of judges for the Abia State judiciary has been embroiled in controversy.
The initial exercise was almost complete, with the judicial commission shortlisting 15 candidates after a written examination.