Barristers & Solicitors
NJC sets up panel to probe seven judges
  • Bars judges from switching from High Court to Customary Court of Appeal
  • Recommends elevation of nine judges to Court of Appeal, appointment of new judges
  • Dismisses petitions against Justice Odili, 25 others

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has resolved to empanel committees to investigate allegation of misconduct against seven judges from different states.

 The NJC, in a statement by its spokesman, Soji Oye, stated that the decision was taken at its meeting held between June 14 and 15, during which some recommendations were made, including for the elevation of nine judges to the Court of Appeal and appointment of new ones.

The council, which was silent on the names of the affected judges, said the decision was taken after considering the recommendation of its Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committees.

The NJC, according to Oye, also came up with a policy barring judges from switching henceforth from High Court of Justice to the Customary Court of Appeal and vice versa.

 “The only exception allowed is when a new Customary Court of Appeal is established in a state. Judges who indicate interest to go to the Customary Court of Appeal will be allowed to proceed.

“Once established, the candidates for the headship of the court must be drawn from that court only, even if all the judges of the court are junior to their counterparts in other courts,” he said.

Those recommended for elevation to the Court of Appeal are Justices Okon Efreti Abang (of the Federal High Court, Warri division),  Asma’u Musa Mainoma, Paul Ahmed Bassi,

Hannatu Azumi Laja-Balogun, Binta Fatima Zubair, Hadiza Rabiu Shagari, Peter Chudi Obiora, Jane Esienanwan Inyang and Lateef Adebayo Ganiyu.

According to the statement, the petitions against 26 judges were dismissed for  lack of merit, lack of diligent prosecution, withdrawal of the petition, being subjudice and for the subject judge having retired from service.

The dismissed petitions were written against Justice Mary Peter Odili, Rtd Justice of the Supreme Court, Hon. Justices A. R. Barka, James G. Abundaga, O. O. Olasumbo Goodluck, Ibrahim A. Andetur-Yangsto all of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justices F. O. Liman, A. R. Mohammed, H. A. A. Dashen, Peter Lifu, F. O. G. Ogunbanjo, A. Lewis Allagoa, D. E. Osiagor all of the Federal High Court. Others are Justice Theresa O. Diai, Chief Judge, Delta State, Hon. Justices S. B. Belgore, K. N. Ogbonnaya Jude Onwuegbuzie, Edward Okpe of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Hon. Justices Joseph I Acha, Vesty O. Eboreime, both of High Court, Edo State, Hon. Justices Thelma Adanna Achom, Elvis A. Ngene of the Ebonyi State High Court, Hon. Justices A. B. Usman, M. M. Abubakar of Bauchi State High Court and Hon. Justice O. A. Opesanwo of the Lagos State High Court.

 Also dismissed were petitions against  Justice Oladiran Akintola of Oyo State High Court, Justice Gegele A. Hammed of Kwara State High Court, Justice K. N. Udobong of Akwa-Ibom State High Court, Justice B. C. Iheka, Imo State High Court, Justice M. A. Zandai High Court, Borno State, Justice Mohammed Shinkafi of Zamfara State High Court, Justice R. S. Ladoja of the Kaduna State High Court and Justice M. S. A. Mohammed of the High Court of Niger State.

Those recommended for appointment are Justice Dije Abdu Aboki as Chief Judge of Kano High Court, Justice Daniel Iyobosa Okungbowa as Chief Judge of Edo State High Court, Justice Matilda Abrakasa Ayemieye as Chief Judge of Bayelsa High Court, and Justice Catherine Ngozi Ojugbana-Orishedere as President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Delta State.

For the High Court of Benue State, the NJC recommended  Lilian Ngusuur Terseer-Tsumba, Patrick Eka Oche and  Ukande Mvendaga Peter.

 From the High Court of Delta State, it recommended Ossai Rita Ngozi, Aforkeya Obomejero, Adolor Sunny Onorieukuhakpo, Samuel Ifeanyi Okeleke and Umuko Aboyowa Godwin.

The NJC recommended Ovenseri Otamere, Obayuwana Osarenren Mathias, Edoghogho Eboigbe, Ojo Maureen Osa, Bright Eraze Oniha, Ehinon Anthony Okoh, Godwin Jeff Okundamiya and Osayande Ikwuemosi Awawu as judges of the High Court of Edo State.

For the High Court of Katsina State, it recommended Nuradeen Abdulmumeen, Halima Lawal Bagiwa,Abdullahi Bara’u Faskari and Sanusi Ma’aruf Aminu.

The NJC recommended Iortyer Vihilun Fidelis for appointment as a judge of the Customary Court of Appeal of Benue State; Gbakeji Michael Emakpor and Uraih Tracy Patricia Ifeanyi as judges of the Customary Court of Appeal of Delta State, and Sofowora Oriyomi Abiodun for the Customary Court of Appeal of Ogun State.