The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), has urged the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to reverse the recent appointments of 19 judges for the National Industrial Court (NIC).
The coalition said the 19 appointed judges are allegedly not qualified as Judges of National Industrial Court (NIC), based on the petition before it.
According to CSNAC in a petition forwarded to the Acting President and signed by its National Chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, the coalition urged the federal government to conduct an inquiry into the appointment of the unqualified Judges.
The petition read: “Sometime in 2012, there were petitions to the National Judicial Council over alleged illegal appointment of unqualified legal practitioners as Judges of the National Industrial Court.
“The petitions obviously were suppressed as official statement or justification(s) were offered to support decision to recommend unqualified candidates to former President Goodluck Jonathan for appointment as Judges of the National Industrial Court.”
Explaining further, the network said, “It was reported two days ago, that based on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council Your Excellency has approved the appointment of 19 new Judges for the National Industrial Court.
“According to a statement issued by the National Judicial Council, the newly Judges will be inaugurated on Friday, July 14, 2017 by the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council, Justice Walter Onnoghen.”
CSNAC said having studied the list, based on petitions forwarded to it, it has confirmed that the National Judicial Council recommended the 19 legal practitioners for appointment in contravention of basic requirement of section 254B (3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“In other words, the candidates have not acquired “considerable knowledge and experience in the law and practice of industrial relations and employment conditions in Nigeria”.
“It may interest Your Excellency to know that there are eminently qualified practitioners with cognate experience and constitutional requirements across the country but not recommended by National Judicial Council.
“To avoid any embarrassment in the circumstance, we urge Your Excellency to conduct an inquiry into the appointment of the unqualified Judges, notwithstanding there inauguration by the Chief Justice.
“If our allegation is confirmed Your Excellency will be required to cancel the appointments of these unqualified Judges without any delay.
“CSNAC is interested in and committed to the integrity of the judiciary. We shall monitor progress in this regards and will be willing to explore every legal means of ensuring constitutionality and rule of law in the country,” the coalition said.