Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday requested the Senate to confirm the appointment of Justice Ishaq Usman Bello as the Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. This is even as the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly has passed into law the Desertification Bill, after reading it for the third time. Jonathan’s request was contained in a letter dated May 21 and addressed to the Senate President, Senator David Mark.
According to Jonathan, his request was in line with Section 249 of the 1999 Constitution, which outlines the composition of a Federal High Court. “Section 249 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, provides that the Federal High Court shall consist of a Chief Judge, and such number of judges as may be prescribed by Act of the National Assembly. In this connection, Hon. Justice Ibrahim M. Bukar, the Chief Judge of the High Court, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja has retired voluntary from service on the 31st March, 2015,” the first paragraph read.
Following the above situation, the National Judicial Council (NJC), as empowered by Section 250(1), has recommended the appointment of the most senior judge at the High Court of the FCT. “In line with the constitutional requirement, the National Judicial Council has recommended Honourable Justice Ishaq Usman Bello, the most senior judge at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja for appointment as the Chief Judge, High Court the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. In this connection, I attach herewith, a copy of the letter CJN/PFRN/A.1/11/527 of 20th May, 2015 from the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, National Judicial Council. “I have accepted the recommendation of the National Judicial Council and in accordance with Section 250(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, which states that the appointment shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate.
I hereby present the nomination of Honourable Justice Ishaq Usman Bello for confirmation by the Senate,” Jonathan added. Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday passed the Bill for the establishment of the National Agency for the Great Green Wall into law. This was upon presentation of report of the Joint Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and Environment and Ecology on the bill. In his lead debate, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, stated that the executive Bill seeks to establish the National Agency for the Great Green Wall.