By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
The Federal High Court Abuja on Sunday said that there was no plot to undermine its acting Chief Judge, Justice John Tsoho, from becoming the substantive CJ.
The Coalition of United Political Party(CUPP) alleged a suspicion of a plot to stop the acting Chief Judge Tsoho, who is also the most senior judge, from becoming the substantive chief judge based on ethnic and religious sentiments.”
The coalition also alleged a “sudden change in the proposed screening of the nominated Justices of Supreme Court.
Reacting yesterday, the Chief Registrar of FHC, Emmanuel Gakko, in Abuja described the claim as false .
The CUPP had, on September 20 , accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)of a plot to influence the selection of new Supreme Court justices ahead of move by the Peoples Democratic Party ’s presidential candidate in the February 23 election , Atiku Abubakar, and his party to appeal against the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which recently affirmed President Muhammadu Buhari ’s electoral victory.
CUPP ’s spokesperson , Mr . Ikenga Ugochinyere, who made the allegation at a news conference in Abuja, said they “intercepted a secret list of handpicked justices , in violation of the Supreme Court tradition of seven most senior justices .”
The group accused the APC of working with some high ranking members of the judiciary to “constitute members of the presidential election panel with justices whose only reason of being selected is the guaranteed assurance that no matter what the law says , the president must be returned and affirmed against all known principles in our constitutional governance .”
Reacting , Gakko said that the court and by extension, the entire judiciary, had well- established policies and procedures guiding the issue of succession.
“Our attention has been drawn to claims by certain persons and groups ( notably , the Coalition of United Political Parties) on alleged attempts to tamper with the hierarchy and/ or succession to the headship of the Federal High Court .
“We wish to state categorically that there are well- established policies and procedures guiding the issue of succession, not only in the Federal High Court , but for all the hierarchy of courts in Nigeria.”