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Court fixes Wednesday for judgment in suit challenging NJC, others over 21 judges appointment

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The Federal High Court, Abuja, has fixed Wednesday, Sept. 30, to deliver judgment in a suit stopping the National Judicial Council (NJC) from appointing 21 out of the 33 persons penciled down as judges in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.

Justice Okon Abang gave the ruling, on Tuesday, after taking arguments from counsel representing parties in the suit.

Justice Abang, who described the suit as a matter of urgent national importance, urged counsel to the 5th to 25th
defendants and that of the plaintiff, Abdul Ibrahim, SAN, and Benjamin Ojumah respectively to submit to the court registrar details of the cases cited in their arguments.

According to reports, while JRP Foundation Ltd/GTE is the plaintiff in the suit, the NJC, the Judicial Service Committee of the FCT, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), and the 21 nominees are the 2nd to 25th defendants respectively.

The plaintiff also urged the court to declare that the Judicial Service Committee of the FCT acted improperly, in bad faith and gross abuse of power vested in it when it submitted the nominations of these persons to the NJC for appointment as judges.

The applicant asked the court to declare that in view of this, the affected persons cannot be appointed by the 1st defendant as judges.

The applicant sought the court order to set aside the recommendation of the nominees by the 2nd defendant to the 1st defendant for appointment.

Suleiman Jibril, Counsel to 1st defendant (President Muhammadu Buhari), told the court that necessary applications had been filed to counter the plaintiff’s suit.

According to Jibril, the action of the plaintiff is inviting the court to assume the position of the 1st defendant as it affects the duties of the 1st defendant under Section 256(2) of the 1999 Constitution.

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