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CSO Fault Ongoing FCT Judicial Selection Process

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A non-profit making organisation in the justice sector, Access to Justice has called upon the Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf, Chief Judge, (CJ) Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, to ensure transparency and merit-based judicial recruitment system.

According to AJ, the on-going FCT Judicial selection process already tarnished and undermined by perceptions of “insider dealing, nepotism and constitutional violation.”

It will be recalled that on the 18th of January 2024, the CJ sent a letter announcing that twelve (12) positions had opened to be filled in the FCT High Court, and requested nominations to fill the existing positions.

The national convener, Joseph Otteh, in a letter to the FCT High Court CJ also called him to modify guidelines on the eligibility of participating in current judicial recruitment in the FCT High Court.

“Of special interest to observers and the public has been the stipulation added to the announcement that only candidates from 12 states are eligible to be nominated. These states are as follows: Bauchi, Bayelsa, Enugu, Imo, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Taraba, Zamfara.

“Access to Justice has two major concerns about this recruitment exercise: first, the public alarm that the recruitment exercise, is, from the outset, designed (as well as influenced by external forces) to lead to certain appointments – which inexorably exposes the selection exercise to charges of nepotism, illicit ‘insider dealing’ and ‘horse-trading’. Second, we are concerned with ensuring that the outcome of the selection process reflects, in a transparent way, the competitive strengths and merits of all candidates (properly) being considered for the positions,” A2J said.

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