CJ Kafarati bows out this month
Alex Enumah in Abuja
Judges of the Federal High Court in the country will from today commence their annual vacation.
The vacation, which is usually two months period, enables judges take a break from their heavy workload, attend to their health, embark on travels and prepare adequately for the challenges of the new legal year.
Though during this period, the courts are not completely shut down as there are vacation judges to attend to the needs of litigants, just as judges who are hearing election and other time bound issues continue to sit.
However, when the judges of the Federal High Court resume from recess in September this year, one of the judges who would not be resuming with them is the Chief Judge, Justice Adamu Abdul kafarati, who is due for retirement by ending of this month.
Justice kafarati, who bows out of office in July 25, 2019, was in June last year sworn in as substantive Chief Judge of the Federal High Court by then Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen.
Following the retirement of the former Chief Judge, Ibrahim Auta in September 16, 2017 and the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to nominate a successor, Onnoghen had taken a proactive step to prevent judicial disorder by swearing in Kafarati as Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
Justice Kafarati was then the most senior judge of the court when Justice Ibrahim Auta retired on September 16, 2017, after attaining mandatory retirement age.
However, following the recommendation of the Federal Judicial Service Commission in 2018, President Buhari then forwarded kafarati’s name to the senate for confirmation.
The Senate had also on March 8, 2018, urged President Buhari to forward nomination of Justice Kafarati to the upper legislative chamber for approval as substantive Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to avoid constitutional crisis.
The outgoing CJ, who was born in 1954 became a judge of the Federal High Court in 1991.
Abdu-Kafarati was one time Bauchi State Principal State Counsel and Asstant Administrator General till 1988 when he joined Federal High Court in 1991.
It is expected that this time around the President would not delay in nominating a successor to kafarati to avoid any constitutional crisis.
Those could be nominated for the office of the CJ in order of seniority are: Justice John Terhemba Tsoho from Benue State. He was born on June 24, 1959 and appointed a judge of the Federal High Court in November 12, 1998.
Next is Justice Cecilia M. Olatoregun from Oyo State, born on November 9, 1954 and appointed July 28, 2000, followed by Justice Binta Nyako from Katsina State. She was born on May 14, 1959 and appointed judge of the Federal High Court in July 28, 2000.