By EZEKIEL DONTINNA
THE apex body of the Gamai Unity and Development Organisation (GUDO), has raised an alarm condemning the attempt to short-change Justice Monica Mensem-Dongban, as President of the Court of Appeal, describing her invitation as a glaring ulterior motives aimed at undermining the nations constitutional provision.
This was contained in a press statement signed by the National Secretary of GUDO, Bitkop Damsuk Fidelis, and made available to THE NIGERIA STANDARD yesterday in Jos, Plateau State capital.
The statement said, “the attention of the Gamai Unity and Development Organisation (GUDO) has been drawn to the controversy trailing the recent invitation of our illustrious daughter Justice Monica Bolna’an Mensem-Dongban and Justice of the Court of Appeal by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
“We have received this news with mixed feelings and reservations in view of the glaring ulterior motives behind the exercise. We are compelled on behalf of the entire Gamai people both at home and in the Diaspora, to speak strongly against what appears to be a grand design to short-change our illustrious daughter, who has served and is still serving this country meritoriously at Enugu Division of Court of Appeal.
“We feel constrained to voice out against this unwholesome politicization and unabashed violation of the established tradition of succession to the presidency of the Court of Appeal for which Justice Dongban-Mensem is eminently qualified and paid her due impeccably”, it stated.
According to GUDO, “it is already a well-known fact that Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, is the next most senior Justice of the Court of Appeal after Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, who is due for retirement at the end of this year. Indeed Justice Dongban-Mensem, as is the practice, is expected to replace Justice Bulkachuwa as President of the Court of Appeal.
“What is most worrisome to us, is the emerging arm-twisting by certain vested interests driven by unpatriotic and narrow interests to craftily elevate her to the Supreme Court in order to pave the way for their preferred candidate to assume Presidency of the Court of Appeal at the expense of our illustrious daughter who is next in line for the exalted post”, GUDO stressed.
The association, therefore, “appealed to all men and women of good conscience, those on the Bench and at the Bar, political leaders, civil society and other critical stakeholders to lend their voice against this dangerous precedence and act of impunity that is capable of derailing the most cherished sanctity of Judiciary”.