Two days ago, the president of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, recused herself from the presidential election petition tribunal after the opposition PDP raised the issue of her husband’s membership of the ruling APC. LEADERSHIP Friday serves our readers the judges whose spouses are known politicians
Justice Mary Odili
Justice Odili is another well known judge owing to her politician husband, the former governor of River State, Dr Peter Odili who was a presidential aspirant of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
She is a justice of the country’s apex court, the Supreme Court. She rose to the Supreme Court bench shortly her husband left office. While her husband governed the state between 1999-2007, she was the first lady of the state. Already a judge at that time, she combined the two responsibilities.
While many of former Governor Odili’s counterparts have served, or are serving, jail time for corrupt practices while in office – like the late Dieprieye Alamieyeseigha (Bayelsa), James Ibori (Delta), Jolly Nyame (Taraba), and Joshua Dariye – and others are still facing trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), like Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu), Orji Uzo Kalu (Abia) ,a court granted Odili perpetual injunction against trial. That order has yet to be vacated to allow Odili account for his eight-year stewardship of Rivers State.
Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa
Justice Bulkachuwa is the president of the Court of Appeal (PSA). She is married to an APC senator-elect in Bauch State, Alhaji Adamu Bulkachuwa.
In Justice Bulkachuwa’s capacity as PSA, she has the responsibility of constituting and chairing the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which is currently hearing the challenge of the opposition PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in last general election.
The PDP last week asked the Appeal Court president to recuse herself from the presidential election tribunal due to conflict of interest, alleging that since her husband is a senator-elect on the APC platform, she may not be impartial in the adjudication of the case brought by the PDP.
The call by the PDP dominated political arguments over the last two weeks with divergent opinions. However, two days ago she withdrew from the tribunal, citing personal reasons despite the fact that the five-panel panel of the tribunal unanimously dismissed PDP’s application for her to step aside.
Justice Fati Lami Abubakar
Justice Abubakar is the wife of Nigeria’s military head of state, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), who assumed office after the death of Gen. Sani Abacha in 1998.
After her stint as the First Lady of Nigeria from June 1998 to May 1999 when her husband handed over to the democratically elected President Olusesegun Obasanjo on May 29, 2019, Justice Abubakar was the Chief Judge of Niger State from 2013 to 2016.
Justice Binta Nyako
Justice Nyako is one of the most notable female justices whose name rings a bell in Nigeria. She is married to a former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, a former chief of naval staff who governed the state between 2007 and 2015. As the time he was voted in as a governor, his wife Justice Nyako, who is the third in command at the Federal High Court, was already serving as a judge.
Justice Nyako’s husband, a former naval chief, is currently standing trial before Justice Okon Abang at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Justice Eberechi Wike
Justice Wike is married to the incumbent governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike.
Before her husband became a governor, he had been a local government chairman and chief of staff to then Governor Rotimi Amaechi, his now estranged former boss, who appointed Justice Wike a judge of the River State High Court in 2012.
Governor Wike was also a minister of state for education under the Jonathan administration.
Justice Maryann Anenih
Justice Anenih is the youngest of the three wives of Chief Anthony Anenih, former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees (BOT), better known in political circles as Mr. Fix-It.
She is a judge at the Federal Capital Territory High Court and daughter of a local government chairman in Edo State. She has been involved in some political matters that had to do with the PDP when the former ruling party was in power.
Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme
Justice (Dr.) Chioma Nwosu-Iheme is a judge of the Court of Appeal. She is a Ph.D holder and first female judge in Nigeria to read Law up to this level in the field of ‘Law of Intellectual Property’.
She is married to Chief Uzoma Nwosu-Iheme, a former Commissioner for Public Utilities and Rural Development, and Commissioner for Education in Imo State.
Justice Jumoke Pedro
Justice Pedro is a judge of the Lagos State High Court. She is married to Femi Pedro, a former Lagos State deputy governor. Before he became a deputy governor, he was a part-owner and the chief executive officer of defunct First Atlantic Bank, which later metamorphosed to FinBank.
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