Appeal Court President, Justice Monica Bolna’an Dongban-Mensem, has invited lawyers to apply to become justices of the appellate court.
Justice Dongban-Mensem asked the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to recommend suitably qualified persons for consideration for appointment to the Court of Appeal Bench.
They will form part of the pool of applicants to fill 16 present and imminent vacancies on the Court of Appeal.
NBA President Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau (SAN) announced this in a statement The Nation sighted yesterday.
The statement by NBA National Publicity Secretary Lawal Habeeb Akorede showed that the slots are available for the six geopolitical zones of Northeast, Northcentral, Northwest Southsouth, Southeast and Southwest.
Qualified members of the NBA were advised to submit their applications on or before Wednesday, October 5, 2022.
Maikyau said: “By a letter dated September 28, 2022 and received on September 30, 2022, the Honourable President of the Court of Appeal has requested the Nigerian Bar Association to recommend suitably qualified persons for consideration for appointment to the Court of Appeal bench to fill the present and imminent vacancies.
“The slots available for nomination are: (a) Two slots for the Northcentral geo-political zone
“(b) Three slots for the Northeast geo-political zone
“(c) Five slots for the Northwest geo-political zone
“(d) Three slots for the Southeast geo-political zone
“(e) Two slots for the Southwest geo-political zone
“(f) One slot for the Southsouth geo-political zone.”
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He urged NBA members “who are suitably qualified and are interested in applying for appointment to the Court of Appeal Bench” to submit an expression of interest to the association’s National Secretariat on or before October 5, 2022.
Their letter should be addressed to “The President, Nigerian Bar Association, c/o Ayodeji Oni, Esq., Head, Legal Services Department Nigerian Bar Association, National Secretariat, Plot 1101 Cadastral Zone A00, Central Business District, Abuja.”
Maikyau said all expressions of interest letters should include eight things.
They are: “A copy of the applicant’s Curriculum Vitae, a copy of the applicant’s Call to Bar Certificate, Evidence of payment of Bar Practicing Fees (BPF) as and when due in the past 10 years, Evidence of payment of NBA Branch Dues as and when due in the past 10 years; evidence of attendance at Conferences of the NBA and Evidence of membership of Sections or Fora of the NBA.”
Others are: “For legal practitioners in private practice, certified true copies of at least five judgments delivered in contested cases conducted by the applicant in the five years preceding 2022.
“A letter of good standing from the chairman of the applicant’s (NBA) branch confirming that he or she possesses the qualities set out in Rule 4(4)(1)(a), (b) and (d) of the National Judicial Council Guidelines for the Appointment of Judicial Officers for Superior Courts of Record.
“For the avoidance of doubt, these qualities are reproduced hereunder ‘in all cases: a good character and reputation, diligence and hard work, honesty, integrity and sound knowledge of the law and consistent adherence to professional ethics; as may be applicable.
“Active successful practice at the Bar, including satisfactory presentation of cases in court at a legal practitioner either in private practice or as a Legal Officer in any public service:
“Credible record of teaching law, legal research in a reputable University and publication of legal works…”
The NBA president said upon receipt of the expressions of interest, the association’s national secretariat shall publish the names of the interested candidates and request comments thereon from members of the NBA.
“For further enquiries, kindly call Ayodeji on the following phone number: 0803 345 2825.”
Last January, then Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, was hailed for inviting lawyers to apply to be considered in the next round of appointments as Justices of the Supreme Court.
But lawyers were shocked when none of the six lawyers recommended by the NBA was chosen for the apex court’s job.