‘Wike’s Daughter-In-law’ Listed as One of FCT High Court Judge Nominees

Chidi Odinkalu, a Professor of Practice in International Human Rights Law at Tufts University’s Fletcher School, has accused the Nigerian judiciary of nepotism after Nyesom Wike and family members of some justices appeared as potential federal high court judges....READ FULL ARTICLE

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) published the list of candidates under consideration for appointment as judges of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday. It told all stakeholders to submit comments about the list by Wednesday.

Wike, the Federal Capital Territory minister, and Olukayode Ariwoola, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, have their daughters-in-law on the list.

Hauwa Lawal Gummi, Buetnaan Mandy Bassi, Maryam Iye Yusuf, Ariwoola Oluwakemi Victoria, Lesley Nkesi Belema Wike and Munirat Ibrahim Tanko are all daughters or daughters-in-law of a chief justice or a former governor.

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Odinkalu immediately pointed out that the list had the dubious inclusion of family members of judges and a governor.

“The NBA just published this list of candidates under consideration for appointment as judges of FCT High Court and invites comments on it by 27 March, giving people just 2 working days in Ramadan and Lent to do so. It illustrates everything wrong with the Nigerian Judiciary,”Odinkaluon X.

“For instance, Governor Bako Lalong appointed No. 7, Buetnaan, the daughter of the president of the Court of Appeal, a judge of the High Court of Plateau State in 2021. I presume this is a transfer, but if it is, why is it being reported as a new appointment?

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“Governor Nyesom Wike appointed No. 11, his in-law, a Senior Magistrate in Rivers State last year. I guess the Chief Justice of the FCT High Court is fulfilling his own side of the bargains he reached when he visited Wike last year…?

“On this list you have a daughter of the former Chief Justice of the FCT High Court (No. 5, Zamfara) and a daughter of the current Chief Justice of the FCT High Court (No. 9, Kogi);

“You also have on this list a daughter-in-law of the current Chief Justice of Nigeria, (No. 10, Oyo); and a daughter of his immediate predecessor (No. 12, Bauchi).

“By the way, the husband of No. 7 was also made a Justice of the Court of Appeal in October 2023, where he sits with his mother-in-law. This is a family with genetically modified judicial genes.

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“The kind of testicular fortitude required for this kind of perversion of high judicial office is good only for organised crime. Ask yourself the question: if this is about administration of justice, why convert judicial office into a family heirloom or a genital insemination?”

Odinkalu has also expressed concerns about the NBA lending itself to being used to legitimise self-serving nominations.

FIJ previouslyon close family members of the CJN and other judges taking up roles on appointment within the judiciary. The appointments have been subject to criticism for a trend of nepotism....READ FULL ARTICLE

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