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Monday, 27 November 2023 06:26

EXCLUSIVE: What CJN Considered Before Recommending His Son, 22 Others As Federal High Court Judges

Recently, 23 new Federal High Court judges were appointed and deployed to various divisions across Nigeria.

Their curriculum vitaes, which were reviewed by the National Judicial Council (NJC) prior to their recommendation, appointment, and swearing-in, have been exclusively obtained by THE WHISTLER.

The NJC, headed by Chief Justice of Nigeria Olukayode Ariwoola, serves as the apex judicial body in Nigeria, tasked with appointing and disciplining judicial officers while also managing all judicial funds, both capital and recurrent.

On October 4, 2023, 23 new Federal High Court judges, including the Chief Justice’s son, Ariwoola Jnr., took their oath of office in the Supreme Court’s main courtroom.

The appointments saw an increase in the total number of Federal High Court judges in Nigeria to 96, as previously reported by THE WHISTLER.

In accordance with NJC procedures, the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) invites suitable candidates to express their interest and notifies relevant courts, the Federal Ministry of Justice, and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) about the vacancies.

 

The FJSC also mandates heads of courts, judicial officers, and the NBA to nominate qualified candidates for the proposed judicial appointment.

These nominations are then forwarded to relevant interested stakeholders within their respective institutions before being submitted to the NJC.

Factors Considered by the NJC in Recommending Candidates for Federal High Court Judgeship

Guided by NJC procedural rules, the Chairman of the FJSC/Committee, CJN Olukayode Ariwoola, oversees the shortlisting process for candidates.

Before recommending names to the federal government for appointment, the Committee carefully evaluates their professional expertise and competence, “the quality of judgments and performance and demonstration of judicial skills of the Judge; and in the case of appointment from the Bar, evidence of 6 contested cases in the last 5 years; sound knowledge of law, seniority at the Bar and or the Bench, Federal character or geographical spread.”

Among other eligibility requirements, appointment as a Federal High Court judge is limited to practising lawyers and is open to registrars, law lecturers, and magistrates.

Candidates are required to submit their credentials and curriculum vitae for review, along with other screening procedures.

Part of the procedural rules of the NJC reads, “

“In considering the candidates, Judicial Service Commission/Committee shall take into account the fact that Judicial Officers hold high office of State and occupy an office carrying enormous powers and authority. Accordingly, the National Judicial Council shall- (i) regard the following qualities as essential requirements for the selection of suitable candidates for the judicial office in any of the Superior Courts of Record in Nigeria;

“In all cases:

a) Good character andv reputation, diligence and hard work, honesty, integrity and sound knowledge of law and consistent adherence to professional ethics;

 

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“As may be applicable:

b) Active successful practice at the Bar, including satisfactory presentation of cases in Court as a Legal Practitioner either in private practice or as a Legal Officer in any Public Service;

“c) Satisfactory and consistent display of sound and mature judgment in the office as a Chief Registrar or Chief Magistrate;

“d) Credible record of teaching law, legal research in a reputable University and publication of legal works, and in addition to any or all of the above:

“e)In the case of appointment of a candidate to the office of Kadi of a Sharia Court of Appeal, knowledge of Arabic language and grammar.”

Below are the CVs of the new Federal High Court judges exclusively obtained by THE WHISTLER.

JUSTICE IBRAHIM SALIM OLASUPO

Highest Educational Qualification

 Usmanu Dan fodio University, Sokoto, 1998 2001

Track Record

– Deputy Divisional Registrar, Lagos FHC Division, 2018-2020

– Divisional Registrar, FHC, Akure Division 2020-2023

– Divisional Registrar, FHC, Ado-Ekiti Division, 2023 to date.

– Customary Court of Appeal, Utako, Presiding Judge/Chairman Customary Court, Pyakasa , 2009 to 2018

– Presiding Judge/Chairman Customary Court, Dobi

– Presiding Judge/Chairman Customary Court, Kabusa

– Judge/Member Customary Court, Abaji

Judge/Member Customary Court, Nyanya

– National Human Rights Commission, Abuja, 2006-2009 Senior Legal Officer (Monitoring)

– Legal Officer (Investigation), NasiruI Ibrahim & Associates, Birnin Kebbi, 2006

-Elshaddai Chambers, Abuja 2004-2005

– Kogi State Ministry of Justice, Lokoja, 2003-2004 NYSC( State Counsel)

JUSTICE OLUFUNMILOLA AGBAJE

Highest Educational Qualification

International Trade and Maritime Law at the University of Essex, United Kingdom, 2019

Track Record

Olufunmilola joined Kyari Chambers as a junior counsel from 2000 to 2002.

In 2003, she joined the Law Firm of Abiodun Falade and Co, until she was appointed in 2011, as a Research legal assistant in the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

First, she was attached to the Chambers of Hon. Justice B.B Aliyu and second, Hon. Justice Kolawole.

In 2016, Olufunmilola was appointed as a Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court of Nigeria and held the position till her appointment as FHC judge.

JUSTICE MASHKUR SALISU

Highest Educational Qualification

– Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria 2011-2015 LLM (Master of Laws.

Track Record

– Assistant Chief Legal Officer, Legal Services Dept., ICPC Abuja & SA to the Secretary to the Commission ICPC Abuja 2021 to Oct. 2023

– Principal Legal Officer & Head of Legal Unit ICPC, Sokoto Office2017-2020

– Lecturer, Faculty of Law- Umaru Musa Yar’adua University Katsina State, 2012

Registrar, National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), 2011

– Counsel in Chambers, K.T Turaki & Co (SAN) Asokoro, Abuja, 2010-2011

– Pupilage Counsel, K T Turaki& Co (SAN), NYSC Service Year, FCT Abuja 2009 / 2010.

– Law Intern, Bello Umar & Co (Kaura Chambers) Gusau, Zamfara State.

– Member, Students’ Representative Council (SRC) Nigeria Law School, Lagos 2008/2009 Session.

– Member, Students’ Representative Assembly (S.R.A), SUG, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto 2007.

– Deputy Head Boy, Gov’t Unity Secondary Sch. Malumfashi, Katsina State, 2002/2003 Session

– President, English Debating & Current Affairs Society (EDDCAS), Gov’t Unity Secondary Sch. Malumfashi, Katsina State 2002/2003 Session.

President, Zamfara State Students Union, Gov’t Unity Secondary School Malumfashi, Katsina 2002 / 2003 Session.

JUSTICE ABDULAHI DAN IGE

Highest Educational Qualification

International Certificate Course On Legislative Drafting , School of Law, KIIT University, India, 2016

Track Record

1. Deputy Chief Registrar, Federal High Court of Nigeria. 2016- Date

2. Ag. Director Legal Services Department, Sokoto 2007- 2016 State House of Assembly, Sokoto.

3. Deputy Director Public Prosecution (Sharia) 2004 – 2007 (Head of Sharia Prosecution Unit)

4. Member, Sokoto State Censorship Committee 2003 – 2016 (Representing Ministry of Justice)

5. State Counsel 1, 2003 – 2004

6. Counsel in Chambers, Dafe Abobo& Co. 2001 – 2003, Sokoto.

7. Solicitor/Legal Adviser Specialist Hospital Sokoto, 1999/2000

JUSTICE ONAH CHIGOZIE

Highest Educational Qualification

Masters in Law, University of Lagos, 2016

Track Record

NYSC (Akwanga West Development Area, Nasarawa State), Legal Adviser (2009-2010)

St Giles Solicitors, Abuja. Litigation Officer, ( 2010-2013)

Lawyers Alert Abuja Program Officer, 2013-2015

Kings and Rose, Chambers, Abuja Head of Chambers 2015-2017

– VERITAS ATTORNEYS LP, Senior Partner (2017-Date)

– VERITAS UNIVERSITY, ABUJA, Lecturer II, Faculty of Law (2020-Date)

JUSTICE CHITURU WIGWE

Highest Educational Qualification

Master of Laws -[Criminology and Criminal Justice], UNIVERSITY OF LONDON, 2013-2015

Track Record

– Chief Magistrate, RIVERS STATE JUDICIARY, January 2019- date

– Senior Magistrate, RIVERS STATE JUDICIARY, January 2013 to December 2018

– Magistrate, Grade 1 RIVERS STATE JUDICIARY, December 2009-January 2013

– Legal Counsel at 0K0CHA & 0K0CHA, MANUCHIM CHAMBERS, October 2005- December 2009.

– Administrative Assistant, EKITI SOUTH¬ WEST LOCAL GOVERNMENT (National Youth Service), SEPTEMBER 2004- AUGUST 2005.

JUSTICE ABIODUN JORDAN ADEYEMI

Highest Educational Qualification

– Master of Laws (L.L.M), – University of Lagos –
2014

Track Record

– Federal High Court of Nigeria, Principal Registrar II (Grade Level 14), December 2010 to Present

– Ejide Sodipo & Co. Legal Practitioners, Apapa, Lagos – Counsel, January 2009 – December 2010

JUSTICE ALIYU AMINA MOHAMMAD

Highest Educational Qualification

Masters in Law, University of Abuja, Gwagwalada, Abuja 2019

Track Record

Principal Registrar 1, Federal High Court of Nigeria, Abuja, December 2019 to date.

– Member/ Judge, Customary Court (Kubwa, Dutse Alhaji and Garki), Federal Capital Territory Judiciary,
May 2009- Dec. 2019

– Legal Assistant, Chukwuma Machukwu Imeh & CO, Suite 12, Ibro Hotel, Opp. Shippers Plaza Michael Okpara Way, Zone 5, Wuse, Abuja , Aug. 2007- May 2009

Legal Officer, (N.Y.S.C.)NITEL Plc HQ Legal Department, 251, Herbert Macaulay Way Central Business District, Abuja, Aug. 2006 – Aug. 2007

JUSTICE FRIDAY NKEMAKONAM OGAZI

Highest Educational Qualification

Masters in law, University of Essex, England, 2005

Track Record

CEO/ Principal Counsel, F.S.N Ogazi & Associates, March 2011 – till date

Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, August 2006- till date

Solicitor and Advocate, Marcel Ali & Co. Feb. 2007 – March 2011

Solicitor and Advocate, Kefas Magaji & Associates. June 2002- September 2002

Solicitor and Advocate Reinsurance House,Bauchi, May 2001- May 2002

JUSTICE DEINDE DIPEOLU

Highest Educational Qualification

Institute of Chartered Mediation and Conciliation (Associate Member), 2017

Track Record

– Chief Magistrate, Ogun State Judiciary Sagamu, Ogun State, August 2020 till date

– Counsel, Ogun State Ministry of Justice, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta Ogun State, August 2008- July 2020

– Senior Counsel & Head of Chambers , O. Thomas & Co. 11th floor, Western House, 8/10, Broad Street, Lagos state. 1998 to 2002

– Counsel, O. Thomas & Co. 11th floor, Western House, 8/10, Broad Street, Lagos state, 1992- 1998

JUSTICE ALEX OWOEYE

Highest Educational Qualification

Associate member, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, ACTI,2017

– July 2018 till date – Legal Research Assistant to Justice Folasade A. Ojo of the Court of Appeal

-July, 2009 till 2018 – Active legal practice with the firm of Bayo Ojo and Co, 8, Ahmadu Bello Way, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State

-2005-2006 – Active legal practice with the firm of Ashaolu. Anifaloba & Co, Wahab Folawiyo Road, Ilorin, Kwara State

-2004 – 2005 (Mandatory One Year National Service (N.Y.S.C.) Programme at the Zamfara State Ministry of Justice, Gusau, Zamfara State

JUSTICE AISHATU AUTA

Highest Educational Qualification

Masters(LL.M) in International Commercial and Maritime Law, Swansea University, Wales, United Kingdom 2009 to 2010

Track Record

i. Senior Magistrate II – June 2021 – till date

ii. Magistrate I – March 2015 to June 2021

iii. Junior Counsel, FOUNDATION CHAMBERS, LAGOS – 2011 to 2015

iv. Law Office Attachment, DOKUN AYENI & CO., LAGOS – 2007

JUSTICE HUSSAINI DANDA GARBA

Doctor of Law PhD (Public Law), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, 2023

Track Record

– Presently working as Senior Registrar/Legal Research Assistant in the Federal High Court of Nigeria Headquarters, Abuja since 2010 and currently attached to The Chief Judge, The Hon. Justice J. T. Tsoho from 2012 to date.

– Worked in the Lagos Judicial Division from 2010 to 2015.

– Presently, a Member of Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules Review Committee Federal High Court of Nigeria since 2017.

– Active Legal Practice in Bauchi; Kaduna States and the FCT, Abuja, 2008 to 2010.

-National Youth Service Corps Primary Assignment, B.S. Nwankwo SAN & CO, 48 Onitsha Road Nnewi, Anambra State, 2009.

Law Office Attachment of the Nigeria Law School 2008, Kenna & Associates, Bensima House Maitama, Abuja.

JUSTICE HAUWA BUHARI

Highest Educational Qualification

University of Abuja(Masters in Laws),2015-2016

Track Record

• 2011-2023 FCT Judiciary, Customary Court Of Appeal

Position:​​​ Presiding Judge​​

– 2011-2012 FCT Judiciary, Customary Court of Appeal

Position: ​​​Legal Assistant​​​ to the President of Customary Court

-2010-2011​​​FCTA, Federal Capital Territory Administration Position: ​​​State Counsel

– 2009-2010​​​, ECOWAS, Economic Community of West Africa States

-2008-2009​​​, EFCC, Economic and Financial Crime Commission ​Position: ​​​Legal Adviser

-2008-2009​​​, NFIU, Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit

JUSTICE OLUKAYODE ARIWOOLA JNR

Highest Educational Qualification

Masters in Law, University Of London, 2013

Track Record

– Conducting legal research for and on behalf of the Council and Drafting Correspondence for the performance evaluation department, National Judicial Council Supreme Court of Nigeria, Three Arms Zone, Abuja. – August 2021 till date.

-Legal practitioner, Olujinmi and Akeredolu Firm, December 2011-2021

JUSTICE EKERETE UDOFOT AKPAN

Highest Educational Qualification

Masters in Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun state, 2021

Track Record

-Legal Practitioner, KAYODE OGUNLEYE & CO.(Legal Practitioners & Notaries Public), Osun – 1993 – 1998

-Principal Partner, EKERETE UDOFOT & CO, Ondo state. 1998 Till Date

JUSTICE KEHINDE OGUNDARE

Highest Educational Qualification

Masters, Law, University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba, Lagos , 2016

Track Record

– Magistrate, Lagos State Judiciary, 12th April 2005 – 3rd October, 2023

– Private Legal Practice, Kehinde Ogundare & Co., Lagos January 2004 – April 2005

– Private Legal Practice, , Ayanlaja, Adesanya & Co., Lagos, January 2001 – December 2003

– Private Legal Practice, Fola Sowemimo, June 1996 to December 2000

JUSTICE IBRAHIM AHMAD KALA

Masters, Law, University of Jos, 2018

Track Record

– Head of Department ,Litigation, Court of Appeal Gombe Division – 2020 To Date

– Principal Registrar I/ Legal Research Assistant, Gombe Division – 2022 To Date

– Senior Registrar I/ Legal Research Assistant, Court of Appeal, Yola Division – 2019 To 2022

– Senior Registrar II/ Legal Research Assistant, Court of Appeal, Yola Division – 2016 To 2019

– Registrar I/Legal Research Assistant, Court of Appeal, Yola Judicial Division – 2013 to 2016

– A. Dauda & Co. Chambers Solicitors & Advocates of the Supreme Court
of Nigeria, Gombe, Gombe State (as Counsel in Chambers) 2010 – 2013

– Saki West Local Government Secretariat, Oyo State (NYSC Scheme) 2009 – 2010

-High Court of Justice, Gombe State (Nigerian Law School) Internship requisite for the award of BL. – 2009

JUSTICE MUSA KAKAKI

Highest Educational Qualification

LL.B Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, 1991-1998

Track Record

-Deputy director, MINISTRY OF JUSTICE, KADUNA, January 2020 to date.

– Assistant director, MINISTRY OF JUSTICE, KADUNA , January 2016 to January 2020

– Head of Result Delivery Unit (RDU), MINISTRY OF JUSTICE, KADUNA , January 2017 to date.

– Open Government Partnership Desk Officer , MINISTRY OF JUSTICE, KADUNA, September 2017 to date.

– Legal Adviser, Nigerian Bar Association, August 2017 to June 2019

– Principal State Counsel, Ministry of Justice , Kaduna, October 2012 – December 2015

– Legal Officer, Kaduna State aids Control Agency, August 2009 to June 2010.

State Counsel(1,2, Senior), Ministry of Justice, Kaduna, 2002 – 2009

JUSTICE SHARON T. ISHAYA

Highest Educational Qualification

Human Rights and Criminology, University of Hull, UK, 2013

Track Record

Magistrate (Senior, Chief…), 2001- 2023

Senior Registrar, Kebbi State High Court Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State Nigeria,
2003-2004

Legal Adviser, National Youth Service Corps, 2002- 2003

JUSTICE EGBE RAPHEAL 

Highest Educational Qualification

Masters of Law, DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY, ABRAKA , 2013

Track Record

– FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY JUDICIARY 2021-DATE

– MAGISTRATE AND SENIOR MAGISTRATE, HIGH COURT OF THE FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY ABUJA, 2015- 2021

LEGAL PRACTICE/HEAD OF OFFICE, MAGNA-PAX LAW PARTNERS, BAYELSA STATE, 2014-2015

– LEGAL PRACTICE/HEAD OF LITIGATION, G.T. DEINDUOMO & ASSOCIATES, BAYELSA,
2010-2014

– LEGAL ADVISER, JEDEZORENCE (NIG.) LTD, BAYELSA STATE, 2011-2013

– LAW INSTRUCTOR, CROWN POLYTECHNIC, ADO-EKITI, YENAGOA STUDY CENTRE BAYELSA STATE, 2010

-COURT ATTACHMENT, HIGH COURT 6, BAYELSA STATE HIGH COURT YENAGOA, 2010

JUSTICE ANYALEYA ONOJA-ALAPA

Highest Educational Qualification

Master of Laws (Human Rights)University of London, 2016

*Track Record

– Principal Registrar 2, Principal Registrar 1, Assistant Chief Registrar, Federal High Court
December 2016 – October 2023

– Private Law Practice, 2008-2016

– Fola Adeyeye & Co. 123, Broad Street, Okitipupa
Ondo State

September 2006 – September 2007

NYSC
Position: Counsel

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