The appointment of justices to the Court of Appeal followed due process, says President of the Court of Appeal, Monica Dongban-Mensem.
Ms. Dongban-Mensem made this known in a statement in Abuja on Monday while reacting to an insinuation that she had a list of preferred candidates based on tribe and religion for the appointment.
“I, hereby, dissociated myself from those who are insinuating that I had a list of preferred candidates base on tribe or religion.
“This is clearly the handiwork of detractors who want to destabilise and scandalise the judiciary,” she said.
Ms. Dongban-Mensem urged Nigerians to ignore the claim as they were unnecessary distractions.
She added that she was compelled to denounce the claim as a “campaign of calumny which has been going on for some weeks now about the proposed appointment of Justices of the Court of Appeal.”
She explained further, “Let it known that the current exercise passed through the due and usual process of appointment into the judiciary.
“A total of 80 nominees were shortlisted and recommended for the appointment of 20 justices to fill the existing vacancies. I state on my honour that any of the 80 nominees could be appointed.”
Ms. Dongban-Mensem, however, claimed that some people had elected to go the press without the facts on the proposed appointments, which were readily available for those who sought to know.
“I hereby state that the current recommendation pending determination by the National Judicial Council (NJC) was done without any preference for tribe, creed, or association. If there were sufficient vacancies to be filled, all the nominees would have been appointed,” the judge added.