List of Nominated FCT High Court Judges: Why some names should be dropped —Prof Odinkalu

Prof Chidi Odinkalu

A former Chairman of National Human Rights Commission, Prof Chidi Odinkalu on Friday faulted the list of candidates nominated for appointment as judges of the Federal High Court , Abuja, on the account that the nomination process was marred by nepotism and lack of transparency.

Specifically, Odinkalu said some of the candidates on the list appear to have close familial ties to current or former high-ranking judicial officials in the country

BAR & BENCH WATCH reports that the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) had published a list of 24 candidates shortlisted for appointment as Judges of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for the general public to submit petitions, objections, or comments on the suitability of the candidates.

On the list are Ademuyiwa Olakunle Oyeyipo, Bamodu Odunayo Olutomi, Anumaenwe Godwin Iheabunike, Odo Celestine Obinna, Hauwa Lawal Gummi, Yakubu Yahuza Muri and Buetnaan Mandy Bassi.

Others are Sarah Benjamin Inesu Avoh, Maryam Iye Yusuf, Ariwoola Oluwakemi Victoria, Lesley Nkesi Belema Wike, Munirat Ibrahim Tanko, Abdullahi Toyin Ambali, Agosu-Adeleke Oluwatosin Esther and Cajetan C. Osisioma.

Others on the list are Nwoye Akachukwu Anthony, Hayatu Sani, Abdulrahaman Usman, Diane Ngummai Nkwap, Weriebi Egberipou, Ehusani Abel Simpa, Ifeoluwagbeminiyi Ojediran, Ngar Isaac Harrison and Salihu Ibrahim Salihu

All petitions, objections and comments on the suitability of the candidates are to be sent to the NBA within two working days.

Reacting to the list, Odinkalu said the NBA that published the list appeared to have lent itself to legitimizing the “self-serving nominations” by publishing the list on a Friday during the Ramadan and Lenten periods, giving the public only two working days to provide comments.

He took to his X (formerly known as Twitter) account to express his concerns.

Going specific, the activist listed at least 5 of the 24 candidates belonging to the category of candidates with close familial ties to current or former high-ranking judicial officials in the country.

According to him, “Candidate No. 7, Buetnaan, is the daughter of the President of the Court of Appeal, who was appointed a judge in Plateau State in 2021, raising questions about the transparency of her potential transfer.

“Candidate No. 11 is an in-law of Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, who appointed her as a Senior Magistrate last year, suggesting potential quid pro quo (something for something) arrangements.

The list includes the daughters of the former and current Chief Judges of the FCT High Court (No. 5 and No. 9, respectively).

“Candidate No. 10 is the daughter-in-law of the current Chief Justice of Nigeria, while No. 12 is the daughter of his immediate predecessor.

“When I speak about filialization & genitalization of the Nigerian judiciary, this is an exhibit in that case,” Odinkalu tweeted, referring to the alleged nepotism and favoritism in judicial appointments,” he added.

The activist further criticized the “testicular fortitude” required for such a “perversion of high judicial office,” questioning why judicial positions were being treated as “family heirlooms or a genital insemination” instead of focusing on the administration of justice.

Other members of the public are also forwarding their reservations on the candidates while some were said to be very suitable for the appointment.

Share your story or advertise with us: Whatsapp: +2348179614306 Email:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here