Ibrahim Mohammed, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), Bode Rhodes-Vivour and five other justices of the supreme court are on the panel hearing Atiku Abubakar’s appeal against the judgement of the tribunal affirming the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Sylvester Ngwuta and Mary Odili, both senior justices, are not on the panel.
The constitution of the panel has been a subject of controversy.
A caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the house of representatives had asked that Odili, Ngwuta and Rhodes-Vivour be appointed to the panel to hear the appeal.
It is a tradition at the supreme court for senior justices, including the CJN, to preside over presidential election appeals.
Odili, a senior justice, is the wife of Peter Odili, former Rivers state governor and founding member of the PDP.
Rhodes-Vivour, another senior justice, is the father of Gbadebo, who ran for Lagos west senatorial seat on the platform of the PDP in the last election.
Ngwuta, a senior justice, resumed duties at the supreme court in September after being prosecuted for alleged corruption by the Buhari administration.
Besides the CJN and Rhodes-Vivour, the other justices currently hearing the appeal are Olukayode Ariwoola, Amiru Sanusi, John Okoro, Ejembi Eko and Uwani Abba-ji.
“Good morning everyone, good morning counsels, we are ready for you…” CJN Mohammed said as the entire courtroom burst into laughter.
It was gathered counsels have started indicating their various appearances.
Meanwhile, party chieftains from both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are present in the court in large numbers.
Among the party, stalwarts include, Adams Oshiomhole(APC); Prince Uche Secondus; Peter Obi and Raymond Dokpesi of PDP.
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