Law News
Archibong Sues NJC, Demands Council’s Record of Proceedings

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A retired judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Charles Archibong, has dragged the National Judicial Council (NJC) before the Federal High Court in Abuja to challenge the council’s refusal to avail him of his service records, judicial activities including all petitions against him and a certified record  of proceedings of the NJC that resulted in its recommendation to President Goodluck Jonathan that he be retired.

In suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/837/2014  dated November 12, now pending before Justice Abdul Kafarati,  Justice Archibong is seeking an order of judicial review by compelling NJC to release to him, details of the petition which led to the recommendation that he be retired compulsorily.

He is also seeking the following reliefs: (1) A declaration that the refusal by the NJC to release the information requested by the plaintiff concerning his service records, judicial activities including all petitions against him amount to violation of section 7(1) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 and is therefore wrongful, illegal and unconstitutional.

• A declaration that the refusal, by the defendant to release the information requested by the plaintiff is a violation of the provisions of section 4(a) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.

• A declaration that by a true interpretation and construction of section 4(a) of the FoI, 2011, the defendant as a public Institution  within the meaning of section 7 and 31 thereof is under obligation to furnish to the plaintiff on his demand information concerning his service records, judicial activities, clearances, warnings and certified records of proceedings of  the defendant that resulted in its recommendation to the President of Nigeria that the plaintiff be compulsorily retired amounts to a violation of section 7(1) of the FoI Act, 2011 and is therefore wrongful, illegal and unconstitutional .

• A declaration that the refusal by the defendant to release the information requested by the plaintiff on the above constitutes a breach of the duty of care owed to the plaintiff by the defendant at common law, in consequence of which the plaintiffs character and hard earned reputation has been severely tarnished by the libellous stories published in the newspapers to the effect that the plaintiff was compulsorily retired on the grounds of corruption and abuse of office, which stories the plaintiff has been unable to refute with cogent and verifiable evidence due to the defendant’s refusal to release to the plaintiff the information requested.
It would be recalled that the President Jonathan relived Archibong of his job following a recommendation by the NJC.

He was dissatisfied with the council’s recommendation and had filed a petition before the president asked him to rescind his decision retiring him from office.
However, at a event marking his 60th birthday, Archibong said he had accepted the retirement as God’s wish.

Justice Archibong, despite his ‘will of God comment,’ has not withdrawn his petition before the president.

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