Amid speculations to the contrary, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Hon. Justice M.B. Dongban Mensem as the Acting President of the Court of Appeal for an initial period of three (3) months, with effect from March 6, 2020, when the incumbent President of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, CFR, would statutorily retire from service.
The statement from the Presidency has, at least for now, put paid to alleged plans to move her up to the Supreme Court to create the opening for one of her juniors.
But watchers still fear anything could happen within the next 90 days, with some pointing to what Justice Walter Onnoghen to deny him his headship of the country’s judiciary.
“Justice Mensem, who is the next most senior Judge of the Court of Appeal, will be acting pending when a substantive appointment to the position of the President of the Court of Appeal may be made by President Buhari subject to the confirmation of the Senate.
“The President’s approval of the appointment of Justice Mensem, followed the recommendation of the Chief Justice of Nigeria in line with the provisions of Section 238(4) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended,” the Presidency’s statement said.