Two Nigerian judges are up for dismissal and compulsory retirement if the recommendations of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to the State governments where they adjudicate would be implemented.
The Council under the chairmanship the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, has recommended the dismissal of Justice Ugbo Ononogbo of the Abia State High Court of Justice and the compulsory retirement from office of Justice Nasir Gummi of Zamfara State High Court of Justice with immediate effect.
Justice Ononogbo was recommended for dismissal to the governor of Abia State, following allegations that the judge signed two different orders without due diligence.
Apart from recommending the dismissal justice Ononogbo the NJC also recommended that the Assistant Chief Registrar and Probate Division of Abia State High Court, Udeka be handed over to the police for investigation.
Suspended From Office
Justice Gunmi was recommended for compulsory retirement to the governor of Zamfara State sequel to the findings of the Council, that the judge failed to deliver judgement almost 23 months after the final address by all counsel in the suit.
The act, according to the council, is contrary to the constitutional provisions that judgements should be delivered within a period of 90 days.
The Council also resolved to issue a letter of strong warning to Justice D. O. Oluwayemi of Lagos State Judiciary for granting an ex-parte order relying on an affidavit of urgency which disclosed no threat of destruction of rights, or interest, in the subject matter of the dispute without putting the other party on notice.
Another letter of warning will also be issued by the Council to Justice M. A. Savage of the High Court of Lagos State, for holding discussion with complainant’s counsel in suit he had judicially acted upon and for serving as a bridge between him and the other party’s counsel.
Both Justice Ononogbo of Abia State and Justice Gunmi of Zamfara State High Court have been suspended from office with immediate effect, pending the approval of the recommendations of the council for their dismissal and compulsory retirement respectively.
The acting Chief Justice Of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, has advised newly admitted lawyers to the Nigerian Bar, to perform their roles as legal practitioners with integrity and competence.
Justice Onnoghen told the new wigs who have just completed their legal training from the various campuses of the Nigerian law school to not only cater to the interest of their clients, but that of the larger society while carrying out their judicial duties.
The acting CJN who was performing his first official call-to-bar ceremony since assuming office as the head of the country’s judiciary, also warned the new wigs that the body of benchers would not hesitate to throw out any erring lawyer from the legal profession.
While reminding the celebrants of the rules of professional conduct, Justice Onnoghen admonished the lawyers to shun any act that would bring the profession into disrepute.
He further charged the new lawyers to continue to educate and develop themselves professionally, so as to keep themselves abreast of latest legal developments in the country and across the globe.
President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn in Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) in acting capacity.
At the swearing in ceremony on Thursday President Buhari asked the Acting Chief Judge to be on his toes, as his swearing in came at a time the nation was going through trying times.
The President congratulated the predecessor, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, for a job well done and asked Justice Onnoghen to join hands with the administration to tackle insecurity and corruption in the land.
Justice Onnoghen, the most senior judge in the Supreme Court, is replacing Justice Mohammed, who attained the mandatory 70 years retirement age.
Justice Onnoghen will act pending the appointment of a substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria by the President, who would have to forward the name of the appointee to the Senate for confirmation.
However, the National Judicial Council had on October 5 formally received the nomination of Justice Onnoghen as the new CJN for onward recommendation to President Buhari.
The people of Offa community in Kwara State have expressed their happiness with the recent Supreme Court judgement affirming the selection of Oba Mufutahu Gbadamosi of Anilelerin compound as the 24th Olofa of Offa.
The Olofa, who was in Saudi Arabia when Justice Walter Onnoghen delivered the judgement was treated to a grand reception by the people of the community.
The roads leading to the palace were filled with people of the community who came to rejoice with their king in Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, north-central Nigeria.
Speaking in an interview, Oba Gbadamosi expressed delight at the judgement and thanked everyone for their support, and solicited the cooperation of everyone.
He specifically called on the Olugbense ruling house to accept whatever has happened in good faith and support him in efforts at developing the community.
However, the Olugbense ruling house staged a peaceful protest, expressing shock over the judgement, which they described as an effort of the court to rewrite the history of the community.
They wondered how the community’s history could be rewritten as they have ruled for over 400 years.
The contestant to the throne, Adegboyega Keji, noted that 10 kings had been produced by the Olugbense ruling house.
He added that the first king and founder of Offa town was from their ruling house, and called President Muhammadu Buhari not to let the judgement cast aspersions on his change agenda.
The Supreme Court has dismissed an application for stay of proceedings by the People’s Democratic Party candidate in the Anambra governorship election, Mr Nicholas Ukachukwu.
Mr Ukachukwu had asked the apex court to suspend the judgment of the Port Harcourt Court of Appeal in the suit filed by Mr Tony Nwoye against his candidacy.
Mr Nwoye is asking the appellate court to reverse the judgement of the Federal High Court, which pronounced Ukachukwu as the PDP candidate for the November 16 Anambra governorship election.
The Supreme Court Judges, led by Justice Walter Onnoghen said the application for stay of proceedings filed by Mr Ukachukwu is incompetent.
In the brief ruling, the apex court dismissed the application for stay of proceedings on the ground that the application is aimed at arresting the judgment of the Court of Appeal.
Mr Ukachukwu had through his counsel told the court that his client’s right to fair hearing was breached at the court of appeal and therefore wanted the panel of justices at the appeal court to be reconstituted.
Lawyer to Mr Tony Nwoye however contested the argument of Mr Ukachukwu’s counsel saying the application is only a ploy to arrest the judgment of the court of appeal sitting in Port Harcourt.
Although the counsel to Mr Nwoye, Joe-Kyari Gadzama declined speaking on camera, Mr Tony Nwoye expressed satisfaction with the verdict of the court.
This verdict by the apex court will now prepare the parties involved in the suit to receive the judgement of the appeal court to know who will eventually fly the flag of the party in the November 16 governorship election.