The acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad have been accused by the Lawyers in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom over the appointment of what they described as ‘dead and retired’ judges as members of the newly sworn-in 250 election tribunal members.
On Friday, January 25, 2019, CJN Tanko swore in 250 members of the election tribunals at the Supreme Court Complex in Abuja.
According to Daily Independence, the group of concerned lawyers who declined being identified faulted the list of the recently sworn in 250-tribunal members as parading over 10 names of dead and retired judges.
They described “a posthumous appointment of anyone for such sensitive role in the country as burying Nigeria alive.”
One of the lawyers told the media outlet that up to 10 judges in the list have long been dead and buried.
He named Justice Edemekong Edemekong whose name appeared as number 58 on the list and declared that the late Justice died since 2013.
Another, Justice Chukwu, from Ebonyi State and number 53 on the list, who was formerly of the Federal High Court, is also said to have been long dead.
The lawyer’s revelation also indicated that Justice Stephen Okon, a retired Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State and justice Okoyo Essang (number 56), a retired justice of the High Court in Akwa Ibom State, both made the list.
They admitted that this would not be the first time the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has displayed this level of “cluelessness and carelessness in handling sensitive issues concerning Nigeria.”
The lawyers expressed concerns that if such errors could be spotted at a glance on such a sensitive list and on the first official outing of the new acting CJN, then Nigeria may be heading towards doom.
“If dead and retired men are to sit on our election petition tribunal, then the APC-led federal government is out to drown this country and we vehemently reject a list parading dead men as members of the tribunal.”