NJC Orders Ademola, 5 Other Suspended Judges to Resume Sitting June 7

Discharged and acquitted Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adeniyi Ademola and five other Judges suspended by the National Judicial Council (NJC) are to resume sitting from June 7, 2017 following a directive of the NJC.
Ademola and seven senior Judges from the Supreme, Appeal, Federal High Court and National Industrial Court were suspended by the NJC on November 2, 2016, following their arrest and detention by the Department of State Service DSS on October 7 and 8, 2016, during a sting operation over allegations of corruption.
The decision for the suspended Judges to resume duties was however, reached by the NJC at its 82nd meeting of May 31 and June 1, 2017.
While out of the eight Judges suspended by the council, only three were so far arraigned by the Federal government, with Justice Ademola discharged and acquitted of the charges filed against him, the council came to the conclusion that the Judges be allowed to attend to the “Already backlog of cases in their various Court for the past eight months”.
According to a statement from the Director, Information NJC, Soji Oye, “After deliberation, Council noted that out of the Judicial Officers directed to recuse themselves from performing their official duties, only three have been charged to Court. They are Hon. Justice N. S. Ngwuta, CFR, of the Supreme Court of Nigeria; Hon. Justice A. F. A. Ademola of the Federal High Court; and Hon. Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court.
“The trial of Hon. Justice A. F. A. Ademola has been concluded and he has been discharged and acquitted of the charges filed against him.
“In view of the foregoing, Council decided that the various Heads of Court should direct the following Judicial Officers to resume their judicial duties with effect from Wednesday 7th June, 2017, as there are already backlog of cases in their various Court for the past eight months”
Among those listed to resume duty according to the statement are; Hon. Justice John Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court; Hon. Justice Uwani Abba Aji of the Court of Appeal; Hon. Justice Hydiazira A. Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court; Hon. Justice A. F. A. Ademola of the Federal High Court, who has been discharged and acquitted; Hon. Justice Musa H. Kurya of the Federal High Court; and Hon. Justice Agbadu James Fishim of National Industrial Court of Nigeria.
“The NJC at the meeting, however, decided to warn Hon. Justice M. N. Esowe of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Adolphus Enebeli of the High Court of Justice, Rivers State and Hon. Justice Bassey Frank Etuk of the Akwa-Ibom State High Court for different offences and place two of them on the “Watch List” of the Council.
“Council’s decision to give Hon. Justice Esowe a serious warning and put her on its “Watch List” for one year, was sequel to a petition written against her by Mr. Jimmy DirisuAliu, alleging injustice for failing to deliver ruling in Suit No. NICN/ABJ/394/2013, until Eight (8) months after the final address of counsel on Notice of Preliminary objection to his Suit.
“Council also decided to give Hon. Justice Adolphus Enebeli serious warning and place him on its “Watch-List” for three years following its ‘findings’ that Hon. Justice Enebeli violated the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by granting ex-parte order in Suit No. PHC/983/2016, preventing the swearing-in of Victoria Wodo Nyeche as a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, when the claim in the Suit did not border on qualification or pre-election matter. The Hon. Judge was said to have granted the ex-parte order on 19th April, 2016, three days to the swearing-in ceremony and adjourned the case to 21st April, 2016 when the ceremony had been concluded.
“Hon. Justice Bassey Frank Etuk was warned following a petition written against him by Oro Youth Movement for failure to deliver judgment in Suit No. HOR/FHC/97/2014, a Fundamental Human Rights case, after hearing it to conclusion and adjourned same for judgment to the 8th June, 2015. The Hon. Judge then proceeded on National assignment as an Election Petition Tribunal member and did not deliver the judgment even after his return in November, 2015, when he transferred the case file to the Chief Judge for it to start de-novo”, the statement read.
Also, various petitions against some serving judges were looked into by the council during the meeting. While one written against Hon. H. A. Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court was said to have been dismissed for subjudice, others were however dismissed for lacking in merit.
“Other petitions written against Hon. Justices Adamu Abdu-Kafarati and O. E. Abang, both of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justices Mobolaji Ojo, and E. O. Osinuga, both of the Ogun State High Court, Hon. Justice B. A. Oke-Lawal of Lagos State High Court, Hon. Justice A. A. Aderemi of Oyo State, Ntong F. Ntong of Akwa-Ibom State High Court and the second petition written against Hon. Justice Bassey Frank Etuk of Akwa-Ibom State High Court of Justice were found unmeritorious”, the statement added.
Recall that the NJC in an attempt to maintain the integrity and sanctity of the Judiciary and sustain public confidence, suspended the affected judicial officers on 2nd November, 2016.
However, nothing was said about Hon. Justice N. S. Ngwuta, CFR, of the Supreme Court of Nigeria; and Hon. Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court whose cases are ongoing.

Author: News Editor

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