Justice Yusuf scaled Senate screening, denies petition against him to NJC

*Sets for confirmation as substantive FCT Chief Judge

Tunde Opalana, Abuja

The Acting Chief Judge of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf on Wednesday disclosed nobody has written petition against him since 1998 when he was appointed as a judge in the Federal Capital Territory.

Justice Baba-Yusuf made this disclosure while appearing before Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters for screening as substantive Chief Judge of FCT.

The justice vowed to continue to protect the sanctity of the legal profession.

He said “nobody has written any petition against me to National Judicial Council since 1998 when I was appointed as Judge in Federal Capital High Court. I realized that I need to make adjudication of Justice pure.

He told the Committee chaired by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti Central) that he started his career as magistrate in 1986 and in 1991 when Kogi State was created he became Chief Magistrate first grade.

Also speaking after the submission of Justice Yusuf, the Chairman of the Committee said that there was no petition submitted against the nomination of Justice Baba-Yusuf and that he had been cleared by the Department of State Security (DSS).

Senator Bamidele said, ” No petition before us on your nomination and you have a clean bill from Department of State Security .”

He added that the Independence of the Judiciary is non-negotiable saying that Nigeria must have a virile and resilient democracy, where the rule of law is norm and not an optional .

In his words, ” As I have always said and wish to once again reiterate that the Independence of the Judiciary is non-negotiable, if we must have a virile and resilient democracy, the rule of law should be norm and not an optional.

“Accordingly, all hands must be on deck to ensure that the Independence of the Judiciary is not jeopardized and compromised in any way.

“In this regard , I wholeheartedly commend the efforts of Mr President to brazing the trail and taking the bull by the horn to ensure financial autonomy of the state Judiciary, just like its counterpart at the Federal level in compliance with the provision of section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic 1999, as amended , through the Executive Order No.10 of 2020.

“This is a step in the right direction and it is worthy of commendation.”

It could be recalled that Justice Baba-Yusuf was appointed as Acting Chief Judge of FCT sequel to the voluntary resignation of Justice Salisu Garba as the chief judge of the FCT High Court.

In August 2021, Baba-Yusuf was appointed as the acting Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

In a statement issued on August 2, Senior special assistant on media to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Ahuraka Isa said Garba voluntarily resigned to enable him to take up the position of administrator of the National Judicial Institute (NJI).

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