Federal High Court: Advocacy Group kicks Against Osun Judge’s Appointment
The Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ), a human rights advocacy group has expressed displeasure over the selection of Mabel Taiye Segun-Bello to fill the Osun State slot in the current appointment of six additional judges of the Federal High Court.
The group filed a petition to the Presidency, calling for the immediate review of the exercise by the presidency and the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation so as not to put the judicial process in jeopardy.
The Executive Chairman of CHRSJ, Adeniyi Suleiman, explained that this was necessary because the judiciary is the bastion of hope for seekers of justice in the country.
The National Judicial Council (NJC), at its 97th meeting held from March 15 to 26, 2022, had recommended Mrs Segun-Bello for appointment.
CHRSJ revealed that over 150 legal practitioners from Osun had applied for a slot as judges of the Federal High Court which was advertised in late 2020.
According to the petition, which was made available to DAILY POST, six out of the over 150 that applied were shortlisted as of March 7, 2021.
“These include Ajibade Bolatito Florence, Ayilara Olusegun Ayodele (PhD), Olakunle Yusuf, Oladigbolu Abidemi Monday, Justice Fagbenle Emmanuel Olusegun and Abodunde Hazrat Babalakin-Are.
“However, strangely and against known judicial recruitment practices, on 24th March, 2021, a supplementary shortlist signed by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, which has another nominee, Mabel Taiye Segun-Bello from Osun, was released.
“Sometimes in February, 2022, three among the six shortlisted, which include Olakunle Yusuf, Oladigbolu Abidemi Monday and Ayilara Olusegun Ayodele were called for interview at the behest of Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC).
“This privilege was also later extended to Mabel who had emerged through an afterthought supplementary shortlist, being the only one on the controversial list.”
While lamenting that the known judicial tradition of recruitment was abandoned to pave way for the last person brought in through the supplementary list, the group held that the process was a backdoor channel to bring in their chosen.
The CHRSJ, which bemoaned the development, threatened a showdown with the judicial body if nothing concrete was done to urgently redress the anomaly
Reacting to the development, the CHRSJ in its petition to the Presidency, the Attorney General of the Federation, as well as the NJC, threatened a showdown if nothing concrete was urgently done to redress the anomaly.
“Judiciary is the last hope of not only the common man but everyone whose rights have been trampled upon. So, if those in charge are already soiled through questionable appointments, then there seems to be no hope for anyone seeking justice,” it said.
Stressing that the selection process of Segun-Bello was corruption-laden and dangerous if allowed to sail though, CHRSJ explained that it was not against her person but against the process through which she emerged.
It also affirmed that nobody can justifiably convince it that her recruitment was not preplanned.
“We suspect foul play in the whole arrangement and that is why nobody can justifiably convince us that Mabel’s recruitment was not preplanned.
“We are not against Mabel Taiye Segun-Bello, but we’re seriously against the process through which she’s trying to emerge; it’s corruption-laden and will be dangerous if allowed to sail through,” he said.
Culled from Daily Post