Sunday, November 18, 2012
BEHOLD! LAGOS NEW JUDGES
In a few weeks time, the announcement of the appointment of six new judges of the High Court of Lagos State, will be made. Their swearing in will, all other things being equal also take place almost immediately.
Informed observers of the Lagos State Judiciary are speculating on December as the month of the elevation of these appointees.
But who are these new appointees? It would be recalled that this magazine in her last edition Vol. 13 No 2 had published a short-list of sixteen “Bench seekers to wit:
1. Ogunsanya Sedoten Sosi (Mrs.) Director (MOJ)
2. Ogala Oyindamola Adesola Chief Magistrate I
3. Solebo Serifat Oloruntoyin (Ms.) Chief Magistrate II
4. Williams Fazi Kazeem Olusegun Private Practitioner
5. Ipaye-Nwachukwu Arike Mutiat (Mrs.) Chief Magistrate II
6. Animahun Wasiu Private Practitioner
7. Bankole-Oki Folashade Janet (Ms.) Private Practitioner
8. Savage Michael Akintunde Private Practitioner
9. Lawal Abdulfattah Olawale Private Practitioner
10. Olukolu Rasil Oluyomi Private Practitioner/Lecturer
11. Isaac Akintunde Olufemi Chief Magistrate (Admin)
12. Safari Ganiu Ali Chief Registrar
13. Oke Senami Theodora Chief State Counsel (MOJ)
14. Bashua Jubril Abisoye Private Practitioner
15. Bajulaiye Adegboyega Oyewole Deputy Director (MOJ)
The Squib can now authoritatively reveal that out of the fifteen short-listed nominees, only six have successfully scaled the final hurdle of selection.
The six are:
1. Ogunsanya Sedoten Sosi (Mrs.)- Ministry of Justice
2. Ogala Oyindamola Adesola (Mrs.)- Lagos State Judiciary
3. Animahun Wasiu- Private Legal Practitioner
4. Savage Micheal Akintunde- Private Legal Practitioner
5. Lawal Abdul-Fatai Olawale- Private Legal Practitioner
6. Safari Ganiu Ali- Chief Registrar Lagos State High Court
Thus we have two female appointees as against four males, the first time in almost fifteen years in the Lagos State Judiciary where male appointees would number more than females in any appointing session.
This, as some observers contend, is an indication of the interest of the authorities to redress the sharp gender imbalance on the Lagos State Bench. However it is “not yet uhuru” for any of the six finalists as very intense lobbying still rages to substitute some of the ‘finalists’ with others who were dropped.
Geckos have it that politicians particularly of the ruling party in Lagos State (Action Congress of Nigeria) notable monarchs, retired judges and chief judges, old and influential senior legal practitioners as well as members of the business-elite are piling serious pressure on the Lagos State Judiciary to have a change of mind on their ‘finalists’ which the Squib learnt were drawn up when the focus of lobbyists particularly politicians shifted temporarily to the recently concluded gubernatorial contest in Ondo State.
On the other hand the lobbyists want the number of ‘finalists’ to increase by at least two more to accommodate their interests.
The Squib has also learnt that the lobbyists are waiting impatiently for the Chief Judge (Ayo Phillips .J) who alongside other judges are outside the country to return, before resuming their lobbying bombardment. The Chief Judge is the chairman of the Lagos State Judicial Service Commission.
As things stand, observers appear sure of only one nominee- Safari Ganiu Ali, of maintaining his position on the ‘finalists’ list. As for the other five nominees, especially those of them who made the final list by the sheer force of outstanding performance in tests, examinations and surpassing credentials, it is a case of prayers and supplications.