Godwin Tsa, Abuja
There is tension at the Court of Appeal as the National Judicial Council ((NJC) has commenced interview of Justices for elevation to the bench of the Supreme Court.
The bone of contention is over over who replaces the sitting president of the court, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, who is to proceed on retirement leave by end of the year.
The crisis at the appellate court is over attempt to make Justice Muhammadu Garba, who led the presidential election petition tribunal, the next President of the Court at the expense of the next most senior Justice of the Court, Justice Monica Dongban- Mensem.
Although both Justice Monica Dongban- Mensem and Justice Muhammadu Garba are selected for the interview, Justice Garba would not be attending as he has been sent out of the country for a foreign course.
This further confirmed Daily Sun exclusive report that the inclusion of his name was just a mere gimmick as the target albinitio was Justice Dongban-Mensem.
If Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem who is next most senior Justice of the court, is finally appointed to the bench of the Supreme Court, then, an opening will be made for Justice Garba to automatically become the president of the Court of Appeal.
The interview exercise which was suspended twice due to controversies has been rescheduled to hold on October 15 and 16 at the NJC complex.
According to competent sources, those who are in support of the development are in battle with those against it.
Some have described the move as a clandestine way of “rewarding” Garba for the job he did at the tribunal.
When Justice Bulkachuwa was asked to recuse herself from the tribunal, it was reported that Justice Dongban-Mensem would take over.
However, Justice Garba was appointed, making the five-man tribunal all males.
A source said different schemes have been designed against Justice Dongban-Mensem, including prodding of anti-corruption agencies to investigate her.