A necessity before Mr. President



Sir: Many a supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari can satisfactorily boast of his sincerity in tackling the problems of security, economic pillage (in all forms), and the desired societal equilibrium even if futuristic.One area where many fault his fight against corruption is the obvious lopsidedness and hypocritical serenity exuded by his party men comprising of stalwarts and seasoned politicians from the different regions of the country.

The President has in his appointments shown that he has not truly divested himself of his military-cum- autocratic paraphernalia which oppose the centralized democratic tenets of egalitarianism and equitable distribution of political offices among the sectional divides of the country. The focus of this piece is the replacementof the Chief Justice of Nigeria by November.

Consequent upon the historic apathy of the Presidency for equality in political appointments, it is necessary to set the records straight so that a misdemeanor would be visible to the blind and audible to the deaf to avoid a general classification of all critics as “wailings wailers”. Many questions stare the presidency stark naked which demand urgent responses with commensurate and technical-cum-pragmatic solutions. One question amongst the lot is, what is the existential knowledge of President with respect to the new revised NJC Guidelines and Procedural Rules for the Appointment of Judicial Officers of all Superior Courts of Record in Nigeria in 2014(an extant regulation on appointments in the judiciary) as he seeks Senatorial assent for the ratification of Justice Mahmud Mohammed’s successor?

On the other hand, Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and constitutional janitor of the “justice” department has exhibited deceptive nermatodic fluidity in the efficiency of his service delivery with respect to the Kogi gubernatorial debacle. This has not only led to a disaffection among the victims of his mala fide but has led to a generalized lingering bout of distrust for his discretion on national issues as the Nigerian public is sandwiched between his ugly antecedent and a potentially bleak future.

Unnecessary tension is brewing in the legal circle over President Buhari’s next step in the appointment of a substantive CJN at the expiration of Justice
Mahmud’s tenure as he attains the statutory retirement age of 70. It behoves the President to take sentiments aside and maintain the status quo which comprises gross emphasis on relative seniority.

This is a litmus test for the President as it challenges his tolerance for due process, the Rule of Law and belief in the sanctity of the Legal system. The nation awaits the outcome of this decision. William Butler Yeats the great Poet in his poem The Second Coming wrote Turning and turning in the widening gyre, the Falcon cannot hear the Falconer, things fall apart: The center cannot hold: Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world , the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of ceremony of innocence is drowned The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

*Ogbonna Kelechukwu,
Nnewi, Anambra State.

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