CJN Orders Disciplinary Action Against FCT Judge

A file photo of the CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

 

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and Chairman National Judicial Council (NJC), Justice Tanko Mohammed has directed the Judicial Service Committee (JSC) of the FCT, Abuja to immediately initiate disciplinary action against the Upper Area Court Judge who issued direct Criminal Summons against the Anambra State APGA governorship candidate Professor, Chukwuma Soludo.

This directive was issued to the JSC under the Chairmanship of the Acting Chief Judge of the FCT, Justice Husseini Yusuf-Baba last week and confirmed to Channels Television by the spokesperson of the NJC, Soji Oye.

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The Abuja Upper Area Court, presided over by Gambo Garba had in July 2021 issued a direct Criminal Summons against Prof. Soludo over perjury, corruption and false assets declaration, an action which is said to be completely outside the jurisdiction of the Court.

The court said the criminal summons against Soludo was for alleged serial abuse of office and breach of Code of Conduct for public officers when he was the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria between 29 May 2004 – 29 May 2009.

The acting Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory is expected to submit his findings to the CJN within 21 days.

The CJN recently met with the Chief Judges of FCT, Rivers, Kebbi, Cross Rivers, Jigawa, Anambra and Imo States and directed them to admonish the judges in their jurisdictions on the danger of granting ex parte injunctions.

 

 

Ex Parte Orders: CJN Reads Riot Act As NJC Queries Three Judges

A file photo of the CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC), Justice Tanko Muhammed, on Monday held a marathon meeting with the six chief judges invited over the conflicting ex parte orders emanating from different judges across the country.

A statement from the spokesperson of the NJC, Soji Oye, revealed that the meeting which commenced at 11am lasted till 5:30pm, with the Chief Judge of the High Court of the FCT also in attendance.

He said the CJN first had a one-on-one interaction with the CJ of the FCT, Abuja, and then the CJs of Rivers, Kebbi, Cross River, Jigawa, Anambra, and Imo.

The Chief Judge of Delta was not present at the meeting.

“Each of the CJs present was separately quizzed personally by the CJN for over an hour before he later read the riot act in a joint session with all of them,” the statement said.

“A damage to one jurisdiction is a damage to all,” the CJN, who was said to be visibly angry, was quoted as telling the judges. “We must, therefore, put an end to indiscriminate granting of ex parte orders, conflicting judgements or rulings occasioned by forum-shopping.

“Your job as Heads of Court is a sacred one, and it, therefore, includes you vicariously taking the sins of others. There must be an end to this nonsense.

“You shall henceforth take absolute charge in assigning cases or matters, especially political personally. We shall make an example with three judges and never shall we condone such act.”

Three of the judges who granted conflicting ex parte orders have been invited to appear before the NJC to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against them for granting such orders.

The statement was, however, silent on the identity of the affected judges.

Justice Muhammed also warned all the CJs to avoid unnecessarily assuming jurisdiction in matters with similar subjects and parties already before other courts, so as to protect the court from lawyers who were out for forum-shopping.

He advised them to work in tandem with all their judges to salvage the image of the judiciary.

The CJN warned the CJs to desist from the practice of designating newly appointed judicial officers as vacation judges and assigning complex cases to inexperienced judges.

He advised all heads of court to be current on the developments in the polity and the judgments delivered by courts of various jurisdictions and to urgently issue practice direction to guide judges in their various courts to avoid giving conflicting decisions.

Justice Muhammed concluded that the judiciary would no longer condone indiscipline or allow any judge to tarnish the image of the judiciary.

The NJC is to invite all heads of courts to a meeting to re-emphasise the need for the judiciary to be circumspect on the issue of granting ex parte orders.

It will also meet and collaborate with the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on the same issue.

CJN Demands Court Records Of All Conflicting Orders

Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad (File Photo)

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman National Judicial Council (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad has demanded the records of proceedings in all the suits on which conflicting exparte orders were given.

Spokesperson of the National Judicial Council, Soji Oye confirmed to Channels Television that the memo was indeed sent out from the office of the CJN.

Channels TV also confirmed that the Chief Judges of Rivers, Kebbi, Cross Rivers, Anambra, Jigawa and Imo states are to meet with the CJN on Monday, September 6, to answer questions on the controversial conflicting orders delivered in their various states.

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There are indications that the Chief Judge, of Delta State, has also been invited to join the other six Chief Judges to meet with the CJN tomorrow.

This may not be unconnected with the exparte order which reportedly restrained the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, from parading himself as a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) national caretaker committee.

The CJN is also expected to meet with the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association in the course of the week, over the issue.

The unprecedented move by the leadership of the judiciary is aimed at resetting the anti-corruption efforts of the CJN and entrenching a new culture of accountability in the judicial system.

CJN Summons Heads Of Courts Over Conflicting Orders

A file photo of the CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and Chairman of the National Judicial Council, (NJC), Justice Tanko Muhammad has summoned the Chief Judges of Rivers, Kebbi, Cross River, Anambra, Jigawa and Imo State to an emergency meeting.

This is part of efforts to stem the recent wave of embarrassing and conflicting exparte orders emanating from judges in their jurisdictions.

In a letter of invitation dated 30th of August, 2021 and sighted by our judiciary correspondent, the CJN summoned the head of the concerned courts to the emergency meeting to brief him on the incessant granting of the conflicting orders on suits instituted by different political parties before the various courts.

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The Spokesperson of the NJC, Soji Oye confirmed to our correspondent that the letter indeed emanated from the office of the CJN but declined to say on what specific day the meeting has been scheduled for. He however said that the meeting will hold sometime this week.

A part of the invitation letter reads, “My attention has been drawn to media reports to the effect that some courts of coordinate jurisdictions were granting conflicting exparte orders on the same subject matter. It has become expedient for me to invite you for a detailed briefing on the development. This is even more compelling having regard to an earlier NJC warning to judicial officers on the need to be circumspect in grating exparte applications.”

Channels Television also gathered that the meeting between the CJN and the Heads of Courts concerned is a prelude to a larger NJC meeting likely to hold next week.

The leadership of the judiciary is said to be embarrassed at the recent developments and the meeting is part of measures to stem the tide and to be seized of the facts before the larger council deliberation.

CJN Swears In Chief Judge Of FCT, Five Judges Of Sharia Court

File photo of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad has sworn in Justice Yusuf Baba as the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The CJN also on Monday swore in five judges of the Sharia Court of Appeals.

He urged the newly sworn-in judges to be firm and just in the discharge of their duties as in line with their oath of office.

He admonished them to conduct their affairs within the ambit of the law and the oath of office that was administered on them.

The swearing-in of the judges come few weeks after the CJN approved the appointment of Hajo Sarki-Bello as the new Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court.

The appointment follows the retirement of the substantive Chief Registrar, Hadizatu Uwani-Mustapha who will be attaining the mandatory retirement age of 60 years.

Uwani-Mustapha had served from July 2017 to August 2021.

CJN Appeals To Judiciary Workers To Call Off Strike

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad has appealed to the judicial workers to call off their strike.

He stated this on Wednesday when he met with some national and local officials of the Judiciary Staff Union of NigeriaJUSUN) in his chamber at the Supreme Court.

The meeting was to address and explore solutions and ways to mitigate the impact of the ongoing strike in the judiciary.

A statement by the Special Assistant to the CJN on Media and Publicity Strategy, Ahuraka Isah,  indicated that the meeting lasted a few minutes.

At the end of the meeting which lasted a few minutes, the cjn appealed to the union officials to call off the strike while the process of making the state governments to obey executive order 10 and various court judgments on the autonomy of the judiciary are being implemented.

Justice Muhammed added that the unintended sufferers of this strike are better imagined than seen.

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The National Treasurer of JUSUN, Jimoh Musa, who led the delegation on behalf of the union president stated that only three out of the 19 members of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the union were present at the meeting.

Members of the union commenced a nationwide strike on Tuesday in protest against the refusal of the state governments to enforce financial autonomy in the judiciary.

The judiciary workers faulted the state authorities for their action which they said contravened the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

A Federal High Court had on January 13, 2014, confirmed the autonomy of the judiciary, in line with the spirit and letters of the Constitution.

The judgment was followed by a Memorandum of Understanding between JUSUN and relevant stakeholders, under which the parties agreed to give effect to the judgement of the court.

In May 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari also signed the Executive Order 10 which sought to treat the funds due to the state judiciaries as a first-line charge and require that the funds be paid directly to the heads of court concerned.

In its reaction, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) described the action of the state authorities as one that does not augur well for the nation’s constitutional democracy.

While the NBA said the industrial action by the judiciary workers was commendable, it decried that the strike came at the wrong time when the courts were trying to play catch-up for time lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CJN To Inaugurate Acting Chief Judge For FCT

A file photo of the CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad

 

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad will on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, inaugurate Justice Salisu Garba as the acting Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Judiciary.

A statement by the Director of Information, National Judicial Council (NJC) Mr Soji Oye notes that the inauguration of Justice Garba will be performed at the Supreme Court in Abuja by 2 pm.

President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the appointment of Honourable Justice Garba as Acting Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, following the retirement of Justice Ishaq Usman Bello.

The statement noted Justice Garba will be in acting capacity pending the confirmation of his appointment by the Senate as the substantive Chief Judge.

CJN Tanko Muhammad Tests Positive For COVID-19, Says Justice Saulawa

FILE PHOTO: The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, speaks during the inauguration of Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem as the President of the Court of Appeal in Abuja on June 19, 2020.

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, has tested positive for COVID-19, Justice Ibrahim Saulawa has said.

Saulawa, a Justice of the Supreme Court, disclosed this at the unveiling of the national headquarters of the Muslim Lawyers’Association of Nigeria (MULAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, the CJN is presently in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, where he is receiving treatment.

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Moments after Justice Saulawa made the statement, the Supreme Court disagreed with the comments of the justice on the CJN’s health status.

The Director of Press and Information at the apex court, Dr Akande Festus, in a statement, challenged those saying the CJN tested positive for COVID-19 to provide the result of the test he took.

“I wish to state categorically clear that there is no medical report so far made available by anybody indicating that the Hon. CJN has tested positive for coronavirus.

“Those peddling the rumour should go a step further to confirm from their sources and equally obtain the copy of whatever laboratory test result they are relying on,” he said.

Festus added, “As of this moment of issuing this statement, no one has so far shown me or any other person in Supreme Court a copy of the test result they are referring to in the report.”

The CJN was conspicuously absent at the opening of the 2020/2021 Legal Year and swearing-in of 72 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria on Monday.

In his absence, Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour administered oaths to the new SANs as the next most senior Justice of the apex court.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected a few top government officials in Nigeria, including the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, who died after he tested positive for the disease.

Also recently, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday last week.

CJN Swears-In 72 New SANs, Warns Against Disobeying Court Orders

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad on Monday swore in 72 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria and also warned against disobeying court orders.

Although the CJN Muhammad is absent from the ceremony, the next most senior Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour represented him and administered oaths to the new SANs.

Rhodes-Vivour speaking at the opening of the 2020/2021 legal year and conferment of the rank of SAN on the 72 lawyers stressed that acts of disobedience to court orders will no longer be tolerated.

He added that Nigerians must respect and observe all the tenets of democracy in order not to turn the country into a lawless society.

The legal practitioners sworn-in as SANs were awarded the rank as a mark of excellence and for having distinguished themselves as Advocates and Academics.

The Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee had earlier in November elevated 72 lawyers to the rank of the SAN.

Reps Seek Better Funding For Judiciary

Some members of the House of Representatives during plenary on April 28, 2020. Photo: Twitter- @HouseNGR

 

The House of Representatives is asking for better funding of the judiciary arm of government.

The lawmakers on Monday asked that the judiciary be exempted from the envelope system of budgeting.

The committee is also asking for the judiciary to be exempted from revenue generation for the country. They believe that this will take the burden of cost away from Nigerians and guarantee peace and justice.

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The lawmakers made their position known during the budget defense session of the judiciary, where they frowned at the reduction in the budget of the Supreme court, despite the appointment of eight new justices.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad weeks ago inaugurated eight new Justices of the Supreme Court.

Justice Muhammad warned the newly appointed justices of the apex court to shun extraneous considerations while discharging their duties.

The justices, who were recently elevated from the Court of Appeal bench, comprise seven men and one woman, as well as five appointees from the North and three from the South.

They include Lawal Garba (North West), Helen Ogunwumiju (South West), Abdu Aboki (North West), and Mohammed Saulawa (North West).

Others are Adamu Jauro (North East), Samuel Oseji (Souty South), Tijani Abubakar (North East), and Emmanuel Agim (South-South).

CJN Swears In Eight New Supreme Court Justices

A file photo of the CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, has sworn in eight new Justices of the Supreme Court.

The swearing-in ceremony held on Friday at the Supreme Court in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Shortly after the eight justices took turn to take their oath of office and oath of allegiance to the Nigerian Constitution, the CJN gave his remarks.

Justice Muhammad warned the newly appointed justices of the apex court to shun extraneous considerations while discharging their duties.

The justices, who were recently elevated from the Court of Appeal bench, comprise seven men and one woman, as well as five appointees from the North and three from the South.

They include Lawal Garba (North West), Helen Ogunwumiju (South West), Abdu Aboki (North West), and Mohammed Saulawa (North West).

Others are Adamu Jauro (North East), Samuel Oseji (Souty South), Tijani Abubakar (North East), and Emmanuel Agim (South South).

He was also confident that the new justices would remain morally upright as judicial officers with high integrity.

The courtroom was filled to capacity as lawyers, friends and associates of the newly appointed Supreme Court justices thronged the court to witness the swearing-in ceremony.

Notable among those present was a former Director-General of the Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Professor Epiphany Azinge, as well as the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, among others.

The recent inauguration of the judicial officers has raised the number of justices of the Supreme Court from 12 to 20.

CJN Swears In Dongban-Mensem As Court Of Appeal President

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, speaks during the inauguration of Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem as the President of the Court of Appeal in Abuja on June 19, 2020.

 

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, has sworn in Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem as the President of the Court of Appeal.

The swearing-in ceremony held on Friday at the conference room of the CJN’s office in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He asked the newly sworn-in appellate court president to discharge her duties to the court without fear or favour.

Justice Muhammad also advised her to work closely with presiding justices of the Court of Appeal to achieve great strides in the nation’s judicial system.

He said, “Certainly, you will see that there is no court in this country that has the number of justices that the Court of Appeal has.

“Therefore, that shows you that the Court of Appeal is home of work, the Court of Appeal is home of cooperation; you have to cooperate together, all of you from top to bottom so that the work will continue to progress.”

After taking the oath of office, Justice Dongban-Mensem promised the CJN that she would contribute her quota to the growth of the nation’s judiciary.

On their part, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, and Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, Onofiok Luke, outlined their expectations from the Court of Appeal going forward.

The event had in attendance families, friends, colleagues of Justice Dongban-Mensem, as well as top government officials who stormed the venue to celebrate with her.

President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the appointment of Justice Dongban-Mensem to act as the President of the Court of Appeal from March 6, for an initial period of three months.

This followed the retirement of Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, as well as the recommendation of Justice Muhammad in line with the provisions of Section 238(4) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Following the completion of the initial period, the President announced on June 8 that he had forwarded the name of Justice Dongban-Mensem to the Senate for confirmation, in line with the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

After receiving the President’s request, the lawmakers in the Senate confirmed Justice Dongban-Mensem as the President of the Court of Appeal, paving the way for her inauguration.