The Federal Judicial Service Commission, State Judicial Service Commission and the Judicial Service Committee of the Federal Capital Territory shall comply with these Rules in their advice to National Judicial Council for nominations or recommendations of candidates for appointment of Judicial Officers for the Superior Courts of Record under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
1. Whenever the Chairman of a State Judicial Service Commission proposes to embark on the process for appointment of candidates or a candidate to Judicial Office in the State, notice shall be given to the Governor of the State concerned stating the number of Judicial Officers intended to be appointed.
2. (a) Whenever the Head of a Federal Court proposes to embark on the process for appointment of candidates or a candidate to the office of Judicial Officer of a Federal Court of which he/she is the head, notice shall be given to the Chief Justice/Chairman of the Federal Judicial Service Commission stating the number of Judicial Officers intended to be proposed for appointment.
2. (b) In like manner whenever the Chairman of the Judicial Service Commitee of the Federal Capital Territory proposes to embark on the process for appointment of candidates or candidate to the Office of Judicial Officer in the Federal Capital Territory, notice shall be given to the Chief Justice / Chairman of the National Judicial Council stating the number of Judicial Officers intended to be proposed for appointment.
3. A copy of the notice sent to the Governor or, as the case may be, to the Chief Justice/Chairman of the Federal Judicial Service Commission/National Judicial Council, shall be forwarded to the Secretary at the same time as such notice is given to the Governor or, as the case may be to the Chief Justice/Chairman of the Federal Judicial Service Commission/National Judicial Council as provided in Rule 2(1) or Rule 2(2).
4. The Secretary shall upon receipt of the notice, advise the Chief Justice/Chairman of the National Judicial Council in regard to the number of Judicial Officers that can be appointed pursuant to the notice, having regard to relevant budgetary provision in the budget of the Council for the year. Upon consideration of the advice, the Chief Justice/Chairman of the National Judicial Council shall notify the Chairman of the State Judicial Service Commission/Committee or, as the case may be, the Head of the Court concerned that the exercise may (i)be proceeded with; or, (ii) not to be proceeded with; or, (iii) may be proceeded with, but with a specified reduction in the number of Judicial Officers proposed to be appointed.
5. The decision of the Chief Justice/Chairman of the National Judicial Council shall be communicated in writing to the Chairman of the Judicial Service Commission/Committee, or as the case may be, the Head of Court and shall be final unless the Head of Court shows grounds to the satisfaction of the Chief Justice/Chairman of the National Judicial Council why it should be reviewed.
6. A copy of the notice given pursuant to Rule 2(1) and the Governor's response thereto shall be served on each Member of the Judicial Service Commission/Committee concerned.
2. Any person nominating a candidate must do so in writing and indicate clearly and in detail, that he/she has sufficient personal and professional knowledge of the candidate's requisite attributes for a reasonable period of time as would make him competent to make the nomination. He/she shall expressly certify that from his/her personal knowledge of the candidate, the candidate possesses the qualities set out in Rule 4 (4)(i)(a)-(b) of these Rules; and, where applicable the qualities set out in Rule 4(4)(i)(d) and/or (e).
3. The Judicial Service Commission/Committee shall specify the closing date for the receipt of applications and/or nominations in the call of expression of interest and in the request for nomination.
4. Soon after the closing date for the receipt of applications and or nominations, the Chairman of the Judicial Service Commission/Committee concerned shall make a provisional shortlist on the merits consisting of not less than twice the number of Judicial Officers intended to be appointed at the particular time and circulate the provisional shortlist together with a request for comments on the suitability or otherwise of any of the short listed candidates, as follows:
5. The Chairman of the Judicial Service Commission/Committee shall place the provisional shortlist before the Judicial Service Commission/Committee for approval and upon such approval, with or without modification; the provisional shortlist shall become the final list.
6. In carrying out the provisional short listing exercise, the Chairman of the Judicial Service Commission/Committee shall take into consideration as much as possible, (i) professional expertise and competence, including in the case of appointment of Judges from the High Court to the Court of Appeal and Justices of the Court of Appeal/Chief Judges/Legal Practitioners/academicians to the Supreme Court, the quality of judgments and performance and demonstration of judicial skills of the Judge; and in the case of appointment from the Bar, evidence of 6 contested cases in the last 5 years; (ii) sound knowledge of law, (iii) seniority at the Bar and or the Bench, (iv) Federal character or geographical spread and where necessary and possible, without compromising the independence of the Judiciary or allowing politics to permeate or influence the appointment.
7. The Chairman of the Judicial Service Commission/Committee shall not include in the provisional shortlist any person whose reputation in the locality is low or had been tarnished; and, where applicable, shall not include any Judicial Officer whose performance has been consistently rated low or not satisfactory in Judicial performance evaluation reports.
8. Where the Chairman of the Judicial Service Commission/Committee has excluded any person from the provisional shortlist on any of the grounds stated in the provisional shortlist placed before the Judicial Service Commission/Committee.
(i) regard the following qualities as essential requirements for the selection of suitable candidates for the judicial office in any of the Superior Courts of Record in Nigeria;
In all cases:
a) Good character and reputation, diligence and hard work, honesty, integrity and sound knowledge of law and consistent adherence to professional ethics;
As may be applicable:
b) Active successful practice at the Bar, including satisfactory presentation of cases in Court as a Legal Practitioner either in private practice or as a Legal Officer in any Public Service;
c) Satisfactory and consistent display of sound and mature judgment in the office as a Chief Registrar or Chief Magistrate;
d) Credible record of teaching law, legal research in a reputable University and publication of legal works, and In addition to any or all of the above:
e)In the case of appointment of a candidate to the office of Kadi of a Sharia Court of Appeal, knowledge of Arabic language and grammar.
(ii) Consider that:
Candidate for the high office of Judicial Officers of the Superior Courts of Record including Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Nigeria, shall be disqualified and shall not be recommended for appointment if found to have been involved in:-
a. Minutes of meeting of the Judicial Service Commission or Committee where the nomination of candidates was considered and a decision taken;
b. All the materials and documents placed before the Judicial Service Commission/Committee as required by Rule 4(2) in respect of each nominated candidate;
c. Proof of the establishment prescribed by legislation for the particular Court concerned;
d. Proof of adequate Capital vote provision in the relevant approved Budget for the Superior Court of Record concerned;
e. Real and verifiable proof of availability of suitable Court hall, Judge's residence, Car and Library, among others; and
f. A chart which shall show at a glance, as much as possible, the essential particulars of the candidates shortlisted.
In this Rules, unless the context otherwise requires
“Chairman” means the Chairman of a Judicial Service Commission or Committee;
“Chief Justice/Chairman” means the Chief Justice/Chairman of the National Judicial Council;
“the Constitution” means the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Council” mean the National Judicial Council established under Section 153 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“Federal Court” means a Court established under Part 1 of Chapter VII of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ( as amended);
“Head of Court” means the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the president of Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of Federal High Court, President of the National Industrial Court, Nigeria Chief Judge of Federal Capital Territory, Chief Judge of State, the Grand Kadi of Sharia Court of Appeal of Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, the Grand Kadi of a State Sharia Court of Appeal; President of Customary Court of Appeal of Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and the President of State Customary Court of Appeal;
“Judicial office” has the meaning assigned to it by the Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ( as amended);
“Judicial officer” means a holder of judicial office;
“Judicial Service Commission” refers to a Judicial Service Commission, whether Federal or State, and includes, and, where the context permits, the Judicial Service Committee of Federal Capital Territory;
“notice” means, unless otherwise stated or the context otherwise requires, notice given pursuant to Rule 2;
“Secretary” means the person appointed by the National Judicial Council as Secretary to the Council;
“State Courts” or “State Court” means Courts or Court established under Part II of Chapter VII of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ( as amended);
“superior court of record” means the Court to which Section 6 of the Constitution relates;
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