The National Judicial Council (NJC) has summoned three State High Court Judges to appear before it and show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against them over their low performance.
A statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by Mr Soji Oye, NJC’s Acting Director of Information, said that NJC’s decision was taken at its 73rd meeting chaired by its Chairman, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Mahmud Mohammed.
It said that the meeting considered the report submitted by its Committee on Performance Evaluation of Judicial Officers of Superior Courts of Record and decided to invite three High Court Judges.
The statement which, however, did not give the names of the three judges who are to appear before it or their respective states, said the appointments of some Heads of courts were also considered at the meeting.
It said that following NJC’s recommendation to the President, and the Senate’s confirmation, the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory has since been sworn-in accordingly.
It said three other Heads of Courts, 3 High Court Judges and 1 Customary Court of Appeal Judge for the States were recommended and forwarded to their respective State Governors for appointment.
“Under one of the new Rules in the Revised 2014 Guidelines and Procedural Rules on appointment of Judicial Officers of the Federation, all candidates for appointment as Judicial Officers to Superior Courts of Record shall be interviewed by the National Judicial Council.
“Pursuant to this new rule, two candidates forwarded to the Council by a State Judicial Service Commission for appointment as High Court Judges were rejected after being interviewed by the National Judicial Council, having been found to be unsuitable due to their poor knowledge of basic law,’’ it said.
It further disclosed that the Council also introduced Freeze List of Courts that do not have sufficient work load two years ago.
Such courts, it said, were not allowed to forward recommendation for new appointment of Judges until their workload improved.
“At its recent meeting, two courts were put on the Freeze List by the Council, bringing the total number of Courts in the Federation on the Freeze List to 26,’’ the statement added.