President Muhammadu Buhari has sent the nomination of Monica Dongban-Mensem, acting president of the court of appeal, to the senate for confirmation.
This was announced in a statement by Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, on Monday.
Dongban-Mensem has been acting as head of the appellate court since the retirement of Zainab Bulkachuwa in March.
Although the National Judicial Council (NJC) earlier recommended her as the substantive head of the court, Buhari did not send her name to the senate for confirmation.
Instead, the president extended her tenure as acting president of the court till September.
Sources had told TheCable that dirt-digging was employed by some presidential advisers to get her disqualified and pave the way for Mohammed Lawal Garba, the judge who chaired the 2019 presidential election petitions tribunal that ruled in favour of Buhari.
Shehu had earlier said the president did not send her name to the senate for confirmation because the “relevant security agencies” we’re not done screening her.
But an NJC insider told TheCable that before any judicial officer is recommended to the president for an appointment, DSS clearance is a requirement in line with the procedural rules of the council.
The insider said Dongban-Mensem was cleared by the secret police before her name was forwarded to the president for appointment.
In a two-paragraph statement on Monday, Shehu said Buhari transmitted her name to the senate in line with his “constitutional responsibility”.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, in-line with his constitutional responsibility has sent the nomination of Her Lordship, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, Acting President, Court of Appeal to the Senate for confirmation as President, Court of Appeal,” the statement read.
“Justice Dongban-Mensem is a serving Justice of the Court of Appeal and was recommended, as is the practice, by the National Judicial Council for the nomination by the President.”