NJC Recommends Compulsory Retirement of Abia State Judges

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has announced the recommendation of the compulsory retirement of the suspended Abia State Chief Judge, Justice Theresa Uzokwe and Hon. Justice Obisike Oji.
The state House of Assembly had removed Justice Uzokwe as Chief Judge of the state and appointed Oji as replacement in January this year.
But NJC had declared both the sack and replacement as illegal and instead suspended them pending completion of investigation.
The Council also said it is set to probe two Justices of the Supreme Court. This as it has warned some Judges to be cautious in discharging their duties in the temple of justice.
The Council is under the Chairmanship of Justice Walter Onnoghen, GCON, the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
The council said these and other decisions were taken at its 85th Meeting which was held on the 14th of March, 2018.
In a statement issued, Thursday, on behalf of the council by its spokesperson, Soji Oye said the council took other far reaching decisions during the meeting
The said it issued stern warnings to Justices S. E. Aladetoyinbo and Olusola Ajibike Williams of the FCT and Lagos State High Courts.
The Council also dismissed petitions against some judges of both the Appeal and Federal High Courts
The statement said: “Hon. Mr Justice Theresa Uzokwe was recommended for compulsory retirement following the findings of two investigative committees set up by the Council. The committees investigated petitions against her by Umeh Kalu, SAN, Attorney-General/Commissioner for Justice of Abia State, alleging illegal constitution and working with a parallel Judicial Service Commission instead of the one constituted by the State Governor and confirmed by the House of Assembly.
“Hon. Mr Justice Uzokwe was also found to have misconducted himself in Suit No. HU/131/2005, wherein he delivered judgement in the sum of N825, 000 (Eight Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Naira) only in favour of a Litigant, but subsequently signed a garnishee order of N109, 612, 500 (One Hundred and Nine Million, Six Hundred and Twelve Thousand, Five Hundred Naira) only.
“Hon. Mr Justice Obisike Oji was earlier queried by the Council for allowing himself to be sworn-in as acting Chief Judge, and thereby colluding in, and aiding an unconstitutional process. His reply was unsatisfactory and the Council recommended his compulsory retirement.
“The NJC reprimanded, seriously warned and placed on the Watch List Hon Justice S. E. Aladetoyinbo of the FCT High Court for impropriety in a case between U.L.O. Consultants Ltd v BIL Construction Nigeria Ltd, sequel to a petition by one Uche Luke Okpuno. Council would have sanctioned the Judge more severely but had to take into account the fact that aspects of the case are appealable.
“Council also seriously warned Hon Justice Olusola Ajibike Williams of the Lagos State High Court for grave errors of judgment in her level of involvement in a family business. Council found that the Judge, as a judicial officer, should have been more circumspect and conscious of her office. Council’s sanction was as a result of a petition by Chief Ladi Rotimi-Williams, SAN.
“Council at the Meeting also considered various petitions written against thirty-one (31) Judicial Officers and resolved to empanel three (3) Investigative Committees against one Justice of Supreme Court and two (2) State Chief Judges.
” Petitions against various Justices were dismissed either for lack of merit, lack of evidence of misconduct, being sub judice or that the subject of such petitions were matters for appeal.
The dismissed petitions were against Hon. Mr. Justices Abdu Aboki, Theresa Abadua and Ahmed Belgore all of the Court of Appeal; Hon. Mr. Justices J. T. Tsoho, Ayo Emmanuel, Sabiu Yahusa, Zainab B. Abubakar, B. O. Quadri of the Federal High Court; Hon. Mr. Justices A. N. Ubaka and B. B. Kanyip of National Industrial Court; Hon. Mr. Justices Bello Kawu, S. C. Orji, A. N. Talba of the FCT High Court; Hon. Mr. Justice K. C. Nwankpa of High Court Abia State; Hon. Mr. Justice D. A. Onyefulu of High Court Anambra State; Hon. Mr. Justice W. I. A. Effiong High Court Akwa-Ibom State; A. M. Ikpambese, High Court Benue State; Hon. Mr. Justice G. E. Gbemre, High Court Delta State; Hon. Mr. Justice A. O. Onovo, High Court Enugu State; Hon. Mr. Justice Idi Apollos, High Court Gombe State; Hon. Mr. Justice G. O. Ogunsanya, High Court Ogun State; Hon. Mr. Justice A. B. Abdulkarim, High Court Osun State; Hon. Mr. Justice K. A. Ojiako, High Court Imo State and Hon. Mr Justices A. M. Lawal, L. A. Okunnu and L. B. Lawal Akapo, High Court Lagos State.
Council decided to advise Hon. Mr. Justice J. E. Ikede of Delta State High Court and Hon. Mr. Justice Yusuf Halilu of FCT High Court to be more careful in the course of their judicial duties.”

Author: News Editor

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