From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
A pro Federal Character and equity Civil Society Organisation – Make A Difference (MAD) Initiative has condemned the absence of any indigene of Ebonyi State in the appointment of judges in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) judiciary.
In a statement signed by its Executive Director, Lemmy Ughegbe, the group while congratulating the Chief Judge of the FCT, Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf on his confirmation as the number one man at the FCT judiciary, urged him to remedy the anomaly.
Ughegbe, said MAD was “gravely concerned about the conspicuous absence of any judge from Ebonyi State in the appointment to the FCT bench.
“This marginalisation of Ebonyi State in the appointment of judges to the FCT bench is not just a seeming act of marginalisation; it is a breach of the federal character principle enshrined I’m the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended”, he stated.
“I therefore wish to appeal to your good offices for the recommendation for appointment of qualified Legal Practitioners of Ebonyi State origin as Judges in the FCT Judiciary, Ughegbe said.
The statement further reads: “My Lord, the Chief Judge maybe aware that there is no single individual either male or female from Ebonyi State presently serving as a Judge in the FCT judiciary. In a county where Federal Character is embedded in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), it is quite saddening that this vacuum exists advertently or inadvertently.
“My Lord may recall that your Late Learned Brother Hon. Justice Chukwu was the only Ebonyi State indigene who was appointed a judge of the FCT before his demise. It is almost 5 years since his demise and no person(s) has been appointed again in to that position.
“Your Lordship has a track record of upholding the rule of law, equity, justice and fairness, without condescending to religious or tribal sentiments. It is based on this enviable records that we seek your intervention in correcting this anomaly. The people of Ebonyi State feel left out, their voices unheard and suppressed.
“The last recruitment exercise of the FCT Judiciary had over 33 eligible candidates for the appointment but not a singular candidate was from Ebonyi State despite lawyers from the state submitted their CVs and Applications.
“My Lord, some states have 3 or more Judges representing them in the FCT Judiciary while Ebonyi State has none. We believe that as a start 3 persons of Ebonyi State origin be appointed into the FCT Judiciary to correct this imbalance. We believe that His Lordship has both the leverage and courage to correct this and restore the confidence of Ebonyians in the spirit of Federal Character.
“We are confident that My Lord will do justice dispassionately and consider our request and appeal.”