…deplores alleged gang-up against Justice Dongban-Mensem
. Wants Obasanjo, Jonathan, Danjuma to intervene
A Christian youth group, Ecumenical Youths Association has raised the alarm over alleged refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem as the substantive President of the Court of Appeal.
Justice Dongban-Mensem is currently the acting President of the appellate court.
According to the EYA, President Buhari’s refusal to send the name of the judge to the Senate for confirmation as the President of the Appeal Court is due to her Christian faith.
It vowed to resist any plot to deny a Christian the position of the President of the Court of Appeal, calling on well-meaning Nigerians, especially Christians to resist such “evil plot.”
The association, in a statement by its President, Daboikiabo Warmate Z. Warmate, therefore, deplored President Buhari’s alleged “deliberate refusal” to appoint Justice Dongban-Mensem substantive President of the Court of Appeal.
EYA said that the extension of Justice Dongban-Mensem’s current position as the acting president of the appellate court was suspicious, inspite of her being “eminently qualified” to be appointed the substantive president of the court, especially having been nominated for the position by the National Judicial Council.
The association said, “We are compelled to once again issue this statement on the unfriendly and unfavourable disposition, inaction and action of President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) towards Christians and those occupying sensitive position in his government, has become an open secret.
“We condemn and reject the deliberate refusal to confirm Hon. Justice Monica Bolna’an Dongban-Mensem for religious and political reasons as the substantive President of the Court of Appeal because she is a Christian, and this is just one case among many.
“Hon. Justice M. B. Dongban-Mensem, whose tenure was just extended rather than confirmed for a period of three months effective June 3, 2020, in acting capacity as President of the Court of Appeal by President Buhari, in a press release, is quite suspicious because, she is eminently qualified and clean by all standard with her intimidating and impeccably impressive credentials. She deserves to be confirmed as the substantive Appeal Court President having been nominated by the National Judicial Council (NJC) in consonance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“She is an authority in many fields namely: Criminal and Civil Procedure Law, Taxation and International Public Finance Law, Public and International Law, Legislative drafting, Constitutional and Administrative Law and International Commercial transactions, et al. As at December 2019, Hon. Justice M. B. Dongban-Mensem had over one hundred and fifty (150) lead and contributory judgments, respectively. Her LL.B and LL.M degrees are both from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
The EYA further alleged, “The delay in the confirmation of such a person, we believe, is a time buying strategy to ensure that she is not confirmed as the President of the Court of Appeal and that has raised our curiosity, anxiety and suspicion. If our suspicion is incorrect, why was she not been confirmed after the three months period of her acting? What are the President’s reasons for not sending her name to the Senate for confirmation the same time he sent other of his appointees?
“But the same President has since sent the name of one of his appointees, Mr. Lamido Yuguda, the new Director General of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to the Senate, which the President of the Senate Mr. Ahmad Lawan, read during the plenary session on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, in a letter requesting the upper chamber to confirm him.
“In acting capacity, her performance is limited as such, she is administratively strangulated and the judiciary at that level is subjugated.
“Preliminary Investigation has revealed that several attempts have been made to move her to the Supreme Court as one of the Justices, out of an evil ploy to deny a Christian the Presidency of the Court of Appeal. Having failed in that, the plotters are not relenting in their plot; they are now trying to cook up stories in order to discredit her so she does not emerge at the expiration of the three months. Just the same way, the former acting Chief Justice of Kebbi State, Hon. Justice Elizabeth Asabe Karatu was denied confirmation in 2017 because of her Christian faith. And the former Chief Justice of Nigeria Hon. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen was wrongly removed on frivolous trump up charges.”
EYA, however, appealed to the Christian Association of Nigeria, the Christian Elders’ Forum, all Christian youths, former presidents Olusegin Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan as well as General Theophilus Danjuma to prevail on President Buhari to confirm Justice Dongban-Mensem as the substantive president of the Appeal Court “without further delay, if he does not have any hidden agenda to bring in a Muslim to replace her. We will resist every and any attempt to deny a Christian that is qualified the Presidency of the Court of Appeal. We advise President Buhari not to allow Nigeria to be dragged into religious crisis.”
The association also urged Justice Dongban-Mensem to remain upright and “not to accept any blackmail that will force her to resign.”
EYA also commended the police in Nasarawa State for state’s CAN Chairman, Bishop Joseph Masin.
It, however, called on the Federal and Nasarawa State Government to refund the ransom paid by Masin’s family due to their failure to protect every citizen, especially Christians.