Law News
Misconduct: NJC bars judge from elevation to higher court

The National Judicial Council says it has sanctioned a judge serving in the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, with a ban that rules her out of any possible elevation to a higher court throughout her career on the bench.

A statement by the NJC’s Acting Director, Mr. Soji Oye, on Wednesday also said the council warned the judge against any act of misconduct and placed her under its watch-list for four years.

Oye said the NJC headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, took the disciplinary action against Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia, after considering some petitions of alleged misconduct written against her.

He stated that the NJC took the decision to sanction the judge at the council meeting held between February 24 and 25, 2016.

The statement read in part,  “The decision was sequel to the petition written against her by one Victoria Ayeni alleging misconduct and injustice on the part of Hon. Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia for failing to deliver judgment in Suit No. FHC/AB/CS/31/2011, a pre-election matter between Victoria A. A. Ayeni and Olusola Sonuga and 2 ors.

“She was also alleged to have adjourned the pre-Election matter severally until the termination of the life span of the Ogun State House of Assembly.‎”

According to Oye, apart from placing Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia on its watch-list and ruling her out of any possible elevation to the Court of Appeal, the NJC has also decided that the judge will not be considered ‎for any ad-hoc judicial appointment throughout her career on the bench.

He stated, “The National Judicial Council, Under the Chairmanship of Hon. Justice Mahmud Mohammed, GCON, at its Meeting which was held on the 24th and 25th February, 2016 decided to warn Hon. Justice Ruth Ofili-Ajumogobia and also put her on the ‘watch-list’ of the Council for the next four years.

The honourable judge will also not be considered for any elevation to the Court of Appeal or any ad-hoc judicial appointment till her retirement from the bench.”

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