Indications have emerged that no fewer than 257 judges will be deployed for election petitions across the country.
A document obtained on Friday by Saturday PUNCH indicated that the judges were drawn from different states High Court, Federal High Court, FCT High Court and the National Industrial Court across the country, including the National Industrial Court.
The document noted that the judges “will be responsible for adjudicating disputes arising from the general elections into various offices.”
The judges from Abia State include C.O. Onyeabo, Ory Zik-Ikeorha, C.H. Ahuchaogu, A.O. Chijioke, K.C.J. Okereke, L.T.C. Eruba, Benson Anya, Nweke Philomena, A.O. Phoeba, and C.K. Nwankwo. Those from Adamawa State include Justices H.N.H. Joda, B.I. Ladukiya, Musa Usman, K.L. Samuel, A.J. Balami and K.Z.U. Modibbo.
The judges from Akwa Ibom State include P.P. Idiong, A.D. Odokwo, O.A. Okon, F.J. Ibanga, and N.M. Obot.
From Benue State are Justices W.I. Kpochi, T.A. Kume, T.T. Asua, P.T. Kwahar, M.T. Ugar, A.I. Ityonyman, M.M. Odinya, and I. Muhammed. From Borno State are Justices H.Y. Mshelia, A.Z. Musa, U.S. Sakwa, M.G. Abubakar and Binta Othman.
The judges from Cross River State are F.N. Isoni, E.O. Abua, O.I. Ofem, A.A. Ewah, U.A. Ibrahim, E.I. Ebri, I.B. Etape, and E.A. Ubua.
From Delta State are Justices A.O. Apkovi, F.N. Azinge, C.N. Ogadi, E.N. Ejiro, T.O. Uloho, M.O. Omovie, C.O. Emifoniye, and C.I. Dafe (Delta State).
From Ebonyi State are Justices H.A. Njoku, B.A.N Ogbu, N.E. Nwibo, C.E. Eze, I.P. Chima, O. Elekwa, T.A. Achom, and U. Onwosi.
The judges from Edo State are Justices V.O. Eboreime, J.O. Okeaya, Irele-Ifijeh, V.O.A. Oviawe, I.P. Braimoh, and T.I. Eghe-Abe.
From Ekiti State are Justices A.L. Ogunmoye, A.A. Adeleye, L.O. Ogundana, E.B. Omotoso, A.O. Familoni, J.A. Apuabi, and O.O. Oluboyede. From Enugu State are Justices R.O. Odugu, E.N. Oluedo, N.R. Oji, C.A.B. Onaga, U.J. Nweze, and E.N. Alukwu. From Kaduna State are Justices E.Y.B. Lolo, K. Dabo, M.T. Rashid, M.N. Sidi, A.Y. John, and E. Michael.
From Kano State are Justices M. Yusuf Ubale, A.A. Amina, I.M.M Karaye, N. Saminu, J.S. Suleiman, S.A. Maryam, S.M. Ado, and A.A. Maiwada.
Justice A.B. Abdullahi, Justice A.K. Tukur, Justice I.W. Baraka, Justice B.U. Safiya, Justice I.I. Mashi, Justice L. Umar, Justice A. Yarima, and Justice M.D. Hadiza (Katsina State).
Justice A.M. Abubakar, Justice A.Y. Birnin Kudu, Justice I. Ya’u, and Justice N. Zargina (Jigawa State).
Justice M.U. Dogondaji, Justice A.G. Sifawa, Justice M. Mohammed, Justice S. Shehu, Justice M.A. Sambo, Justice D.Y. Danjega, Justice B.Y. Tambuwa, and Justice B. Ibrahim (Sokoto State).
Justice B.M. Tukur, Justice H. Mikailu, Justice B.M. Kucheri, Justice I.H. Ismaila, Justice U. AbdulNasir, Justice S.G. G/Bore, and Justice B. Rabi (Zamfara State).
Justice U. Abubakar, Justice N.I. Umar, Justice S.B. Shuaibu, Justice F.H. Bunza, Justice S.K. Manya, Justice A.S. Bello, Justice S.U. Mukhtar, and Justice U.A. S/Kudu (Kebbi State). From Taraba State: Justice S. Haruna, Justice A.B. Abbare, Justice C.J. Katabs, Justice M.A. Badamasi, Mrs E. Tata (CM) and Mr K.A.A. Yara (UAC)
From Yobe State: Justice M.Z. Usman, Justice K.B. Yusuf, Justice M. Kyari, Justice H.L. Musa, Justice H.S. Tahir, Justice K.M.B Inuwa, and Justice A.K. Kime. From Gombe State: Justice A.M. Yakubu, Justice H.H. Kereng, Justice S.Y. Abubakar, Justice M. Fatima, Justice D.S. Sikkam, Justice M.A. Haruna, Justice B.H. Abbayo, and Justice M.I. Gombe.
Justice F. Ajayi, Justice S. Umar, Justice M.M. Gwatana, Justice A.S. Husaini, Justice S. Zubayru, Justice B. Aina, and Justice D. Yakubu (Kogi State).
Justice M.O. Opara, Justice G.C. Aguma, Justice F. Onyiri, Justice L.T. Senewo, Justice F.A. Fiberesima, Justice L. Ngbor-Abina, Justice O.D. Gbasam, and Justice S.S Popnen (Rivers State).
Justice A.I. Ashom, Justice N.J. Dadi, Justice T. Zololo, Justice G.M. Kamyal, Justice V. Dadom, Justice D.S. Damulak, Justice S.S. Fomber, Justice B.M. Bassi (Plateau State).
Justice R.G. Soji, Justice A.M. Mainoma, Justice S.A. Ayiwulu, Justice A.A. Ozegyu, Justice M.A. Ramat, Justice J.K. Kurape, and Justice A.T. Chanbo (Nasarawa State). Justice M. Abdullahi, Justice S.T. Zainab, Justice Y.G. Bilkisu, Justice I. Usman, Justice I. Hauwa Kulu, Justice L.M. Amina, and Justice M.I. Khadijat (Niger State).
From Lagos State: Justice M.O. Obadina, Justice J.E. Oyefeso, Justice A.O. Opesanwo, Justice L.B.L. Akapo, Justice J.A. Kudirat, Justice S.S. Ogunsanya, Justice I.O. Akinkugbe, and Justice O.A. Adamson.
From Ogun State: Justice C.C. Ogunsanya, Justice O. Ogunfowora, Justice A.A.S. Femi, Justice A.O. Araba, Justice A.A. Adewole, Mr I.O. Awofeso (CM) and Mr D.I. Dipeolu (CM)
From Osun State: Justice A.A. Ajeibe, Justice A.O. Ayoola, Justice K.M. Akano, Justice A.L. Adegoke, Justice M.O. Agboola, Justice S.A. Oke, Justice M.O. Okediya, and Justice A.O. Adenji.
From Ondo State: Justice O.A. Osadebay, Justice P.O. Ikujuni, Justice W.R. Olamide, Justice O. Sunday, Justice J.O. Abe, Justice A. Enikuomehin, Justice T.M. Adedipe, and Justice A.E. Akeredolu.
Justice G.A. Sunmonu, Justice O.M. Fadeyi, Justice E.O. Ajayi, Justice M.L. Owolabi, Justice M.I. Sule, Justice L.A. Ganiyu, Justice B.A. Taiwo, and Justice O.A. Adetujoye (Oyo State).
Justice A.A. Adebara, Justice A.S. Halima, Justice A. Gegele, Justice F.D. Lawal, Justice J.Z. Umar, Justice M.A. Oniye, Mrs O.I. Olabisi, and Justice K. Abdul-Latif (Kwara State). Justice L.C. Azuama, Justice K.A. Ojiako, Justice B.C. Iheka, Justice S.I. Okpara, Justice V.I Onyeka, Justice E.N. Eke, Justice K.A Leweanya, and Justice J.I. Obichere (Imo State).
From Bayelsa: Justice J.B. Egele, and Justice TY Abasi
From the Federal Capital Territory High Court: Justice M.E. Anenih, Justice O.A. Adeniyi, Justice A.I. Kutigi, Justice A.O. Otaluka, Justice Y Halilu, Justice A.O. Ebong, Justice B. Hassan, Justice E. Enenche, and Justice A.S. Usman.
From the Federal High Court: Justice A.A. Okeke, Justice M.A. Onytenu, Justice H.R.A. Shagari, and Justice J.O. Abdulmalik
For the National Industrial Court: Justice I.S. Galadima, Justice S.H. Danjidda, and Justice K.D. Damuak. Lawyers lament impact
Commenting on the number of judges to oversee the election petitions, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Prof Taiwo Osipitan, told Saturday PUNCH that the nominations would slow down justice in other minor and non-political cases in each of the judge’s jurisdictions for about six to eight months.
Osipitan said, “It is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. When the judges are away in the next six or eight months, all the minor non-political cases will be adjourned, so it means the litigants and the lawyers will have their cases automatically adjourned for six months and when they come back they will need time to settle down.” Another SAN, Mike Ozekhome, told our correspondent that asking over 200 judges to leave their various duty posts across the country for an election tribunal would negatively affect other cases, the judicial system and might scare away potential foreign investors.
Also, Kunle Adegoke (SAN), urged the NJC to look into the appointment of retired judges and magistrates to assist at the tribunals.
He opined that many of the judges retired at 65 and 70 were sound to adjudicate on such matters, which they had been doing all their lives.