President Muhammadu Buhari has sent the nomination of Her Lordship, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, Acting President, Court of Appeal to the Senate for confirmation as President, Court of Appeal.
Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement issued on Monday, said the nomination was sent in line with his constitutional responsibility.
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Shehu said Justice Dongban-Mensem is a serving Justice of the Court of Appeal and was recommended, as is the practice, by the National Judicial Council (NJC) for the nomination by the President.
On Sunday, the Presidency said that nobody should seek to stampede President Buhari on the confirmation of the Acting President of the Court of Appeal.
Shehu said President Buhari was not a rubber stamp while making judicial and other appointments.
Colonel Dangiwa Umar (Rtd), a former governor of Kaduna State, recently, alleged that appointments were skewed in favour of the North.
“All those who wish you and the country well must mince no words in warning you that Nigeria has become dangerously polarised and risk sliding into crisis on account of your administration’s lopsided appointments, which continues to give undue preference to some sections of the country over others,” he had said in the letter addressed to the president.
President Buhari had, on May 29, 2020, approved the extension of the appointment of Hon. Justice Dongban-Mensem as the Acting President of the Court of Appeal (PCA) with effect from June 3, 2020, for a further period of three (3) months pursuant to Section 238(4) and (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
The President had on March 5, 2020, announed his initial appointment as the Acting President of the Court of Appeal for an initial period of three months, with effect from March 6, 2020, when the immediate past PCA President, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, statutorily retired from service.
Shehu had said in the first statement issued on her appointment that Justice Mensem, who is the next most senior Judge of the Court of Appeal, will be acting pending when a substantive appointment to the position of the President of the Court of Appeal might be made by President Buhari subject to the confirmation of the Senate.
He said the President’s approval of the appointment of Justice Mensem, followed the recommendation of the Chief Justice of Nigeria in line with the provisions of Section 238(4) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.