Home News After Col Umar’s letter Buhari nominates Dongban-Mensem as President, Court of Appeal

After Col Umar’s letter Buhari nominates Dongban-Mensem as President, Court of Appeal

Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem

ABUJA (SundiataPost) – Nine days after Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (rtd), former Military Governor of Kaduna State, wrote an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari condemning his skewed appointments and raising the issue of pending headship of the Court of Appeal, the President has nominated Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, as substantive president of the appeal court.

According to a statement issued by Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, the President has sent Justice Dongban-Mensem’s name to the Senate for confirmation.
The full statement reads:


President Muhammadu Buhari, in-line with his constitutional responsibility has sent the nomination of Her Lordship, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, Acting President, Court of Appeal to the Senate for confirmation as President, Court of Appeal.

Justice Dongban-Mensem is a serving Justice of the Court of Appeal and was recommended, as is the practice, by the National Judicial Council for the nomination by the President.

Garba Shehu

Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media & Publicity

The has been much controversy concerning the confirmation of Justice Dongban-Mensem, who has been made to hold the position in acting capacity initially for three months after which Buhari recently reappointed her in acting capacity.

The controversy prompted Colonel Umar (rtd) on 30 May 2020 to wade into the matter in his recent open letter to Buhari.

In the letter Col Umar told Buhari:

“May I also invite the attention of Mr. President to the pending matter of appointment of a Chief Judge of the Nigerian Court Appeal which appears to be generating public interest. As it is, the most senior Judge, Justice Monica Dongban Mensem, a northern Christian, is serving out her second three-month term as acting Chief Judge without firm prospects that she will be confirmed substantive head. I do not know Justice Mensem but those who do attest to her competence, honesty and humility. She appears eminently qualified for appointment as the substantive Chief Judge of the Court of Appeal as she is also said to be highly recommended by the National Judicial Council. If she is not and is bypassed in favor of the next in line who happens to be another northern Muslim, that would be truly odd. In which case, even the largest contingent of PR gurus would struggle to rebut the charges that you, Mr. President, is either unwilling or incapable of acting on your pledge to belong to everyone — and to no one. I hope you would see your way into pausing and reflecting on the very grave consequences of such failure not just to your legacy but to the future of our great country.”

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