Appeal Court Denies Enlisting Dead Judges into Election Petition Panels

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

The Court of Appeal has denied reports that it shortlisted the names of 10 dead judges for appointment as members of the newly-inaugurated Election Petition Tribunals.

A total of 250 judges across the federation were sworn in last Saturday by the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, as chairmen and members of 2019 Election Petition Tribunal.

They are to handle matters that may likely come up as a result of the conduct of the 2019 elections.

Shortly after the inauguration, reports emanating from the social media said no fewer than 10 dead or retired judges’ names were listed for the inauguration.

But in a swift reaction, the Court of Appeal’s Media Officer, Mrs. Sa’adatu Kachalla, who

described the reports as being malicious, said there was no iota of

truth in the claims.

“The attention of the Court of Appeal has been drawn to a malicious publication making the rounds in some portals that the names of 10 dead judges featured in the list of the 250 judges sworn in on January 26, 2019 as Election Petition Tribunal Chairmen and Members.

“In view of the above, we wish to state that there was no name of a dead or retired judge on the list we sent to the Supreme Court for the swearing-in ceremony by His Lordship the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mr. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed.

“The Court of Appeal therefore, finds this claim to be false, misleading and a total misrepresentation of the good intentions of the Hon. President aimed at building not only a vibrant judiciary, but an endearing democratic society,” she said.

Kachalla noted that the President of the Court of Appeal,

painstakingly went through the efforts of the states branches of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the Chief Judges of the 36 states and “selected these men and women of integrity to become members of the Election Petition Tribunal”.

The statement however urged members of the public to disregard in its entirety what it described as fake news.