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NJC recommends appointment of 18 appeal court judges, eight court heads

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The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended 18 judges to President Muhammadu Buhari for appointment as Justices of the Court of Appeal.

The Director of Information, NJC, Soji Oye, said that the council also recommended the appointment of eight heads of courts in Rivers, Nasarawa, Kogi, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Delta states.

Oye said the council, under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, had at its 94th meeting held on 17 and 18, December 2020 considered the list of candidates presented by its interview committee.

The NJC also empaneled a committee to investigate one judge and issue two strong warning letters to two judges.

They are as follows:

EIGHTEEN (18) JUSTICES, COURT OF APPEAL

i) Hon. Justice Bature Isah Gafai
ii) Hon. Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Sirajo
iii) Hon. Justice Waziri Abdul-Azeez
iv) Hon. Justice Yusuf Alhaji Bashir
v) Hon. Justice Usman A. Musale
vi) Hon. Justice Jauro Ibrahim Wakili
vii) Hon. Justice Abba Bello Mohammed
viii) Hon. Grand Kadi Mohammed Danjuma
ix) Hon. Justice Danlami Zama Senchi
x) Hon. Justice Mohammed Lawal Abubakar
xi) Hon. Justice Hassan Muslim Sule
xii) Hon. Justice Amadi Kenneth Ikechukwu
xiii) Hon. Justice Peter Oyinkenimiemi Affen
xiv) Hon. Justice Sybil Onyeji Nwaka Gbagi
xv) Hon. Justice Olasumbo Olanrewaju Goodluck
xvi) Hon. Justice Banjoko Adebukunola Adeoti Ibironke
xvii) Hon. Justice Olabode Abimbola Adegbehingbe
xviii) Hon. Justice Bola Samuel Ademola

2. CHIEF JUDGE, FCT, ABUJA
i) Hon. Justice Salisu Garba Abdullahi

3. CHIEF JUDGE, RIVERS STATE
i) Hon. Justice Simeon Chibuzor Amadi

4. CHIEF JUDGE, NASARAWA STATE
i) Hon. Justice Aisha Bashir Aliyu

5. CHIEF JUDGE, KOGI STATE
i) Hon. Justice Sunday Omeiza Otu

6. CHIEF JUDGE, JIGAWA STATE
i) Hon. Justice Umar Maigari Sadiq

7. CHIEF JUDGE, EBONYI STATE
i) Hon. Justice Ngene Anagu Elvis

8. CHIEF JUDGE, DELTA STATE
i) Hon. Justice Theresa T. Obiajulu Ogochukwu Diai

9. PRESIDENT, CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL, DELTA STATE
i) Hon. Justice Patience Onuwa Elumeze

All recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by Buhari and their respective State Governors and confirmation by the National Assembly and their respective States Houses of Assembly.

In a press statement, the NJC said, “Council at the Meeting deliberated on the Reports on 24 petitions written against 29 Judges presented by its Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee and decided to empanel an investigation Committee against one Judge and issued two strong warning letters against 2 Judges of the Federal and State High Courts. It also resolved to set up a Medical Board to ascertain the health status of one Judge.

“Council decided to issue strong warning letters to Hon. Justices Mufutau Olokoba and M. A. Savage of the Lagos State High Court. Hon. Justice Olokoba was reprimanded and also put on the watch list of the Council for his failure to deliver judgement within the Constitutional period of 90 days and Hon. Justice Savage was reprimanded for not being in charge of his Court

The remaining petitions were summarily dismissed for obvious and manifest lack of merit, being subjudice, overtaken by events or that such petitions were matters for appeal.

The dismissed petitions were against Hon. Justices Rita Nosakhare Pemu, Ita G. Mbaba and Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua all of Owerri Division of the Court of Appeal; Hon. Justices O. O. Oguntoyinbo and A. Lewis-Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice Anslem A. Nwaigwe, Chief Judge of Ebonyi State, Hon. Justices M. A. Abubakar, Binta Bawa Rijau of Niger State High Court, Hon. Justice Maurice Odey Eneji of Cross River State and Hon. Justice Kulu Aliyu, Chief Judge, Zamfara State.

Other petitions dismissed were those written against Hon. Justice S. O. Falola of Osun State Judiciary; Hon. Justices C. C. Okaa, S. N. Odili and P. C. Obiorah, all of Anambra State High Court; Hon. Justice Chukwuemeka – Chikeka, Hon. Justice Ijeoma O. Agugua, Acting Chief Judge of Imo State; Hon. Justice Y. A. Adesanya of the Lagos State Judiciary and Hon. Justices Godwin O. Ollor and S. H. Aprioku of Rivers State High Court.

Similarly, Council dismissed petitions written against Hon. Justices Hadiza H. Ali-Jos, E. B. Omotoso, I. Ityonyiman, W. O. Animasahun, A. A. Aderibigbe and Hon Kadi M. Y. Usman who served in two Election Petition Tribunals.

Council also received notifications of retirement of seventeen (17) Judicial Officers and notifications of death of three Judges from the Federal and State Judiciaries.

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