NJC Recommends Appointment Of Justice Muhammad As New CJN

BREAKING: NJC Holds Emergency Meeting Over Onnoghen's Suspension
A file photo of NJC session in Abuja.

 

The National Judicial Council rose today from an Emergency Meeting to recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari, the appointment of Hon. Dr. Justice Tanko Muhammad, as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.

According to a statement by its Director, Information, Mr. Soji Oye, the NJC also on Wednesday recommended eight other persons as Heads of Court.

The Meeting which was initially presided over by Hon. Mr. Justice Umaru Abdullahi, CON, considered and approved the recommendation of its Interview Committee that screened the two candidates presented by the Federal Judicial Service Commission to it for appointment as Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Subsequently, the plenary of the Meeting presided over by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR, recommended to the Governors of Sokoto, Lagos, Anambra, Ebonyi, Niger, Taraba, Kano, and Jigawa States, eight (8) successful candidates for appointment as Chief Judges and Grand Kadis for the States.

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The recommendations include:

“1. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, SOKOTO STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICEi) Hon. Mr. Justice Muhammad S. Sifawa

2. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, LAGOS STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Hon. Mr. Justice Kazeem O. Alogba

3. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, ANAMBRA STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Hon. Mr. Justice Ijem Onwuamaegbu

4. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, EBONYI STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Hon. Mr. Justice Nwaigwe A. Anselm

5. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, NIGER STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Hon. Mr. Justice Aliyu M. Mayaki

6. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, TARABA STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
i) Hon. Mr. Justice Filibus B. Andetur

7. APPOINTMENT OF GRAND KADI, SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL, KANO
i) Hon. Kadi Tijjani Yusuf Yakasai

8. APPOINTMENT OF GRAND KADI, SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL, JIGAWA
i) Hon. Kadi Isa Jibrin Gantsa”

The newly appointed Heads of Court will be sworn-in after the approval of the President and their respective State Governors and confirmation by the Senate and State Houses of Assembly as the case may be.

Council at the Meeting commended President Muhammadu Buhari, for his unequivocal position on the financial autonomy for the States Judiciary and called on the various State Executives to as a matter of urgency, commence its immediate implementation.

It posited that this is not only in line with the Constitutional dictates, but presently the Judicial position.

Council also considered notification of retirements of Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judges of Gombe, Edo, Niger, Ebonyi, Acting Chief Judge of Kebbi States as well as those of nine (9) other Judicial Officers from the Federal High Court, High Courts of Gombe, Delta, Edo, Imo, Benue and Katsina States.

Justice Muhammad was sworn in as the Acting CJN on January 25, immediately after the then, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen was suspended by President Buhari.

The President in April requested and obtained the NJC’s consent to extend Muhammad’s acting tenure by the constitutionally-allowed three months.

The extended three months period was due to lapse on July 25.

NJC Nominates Abba-Aji As Supreme Court Justice

Alleged N5bn Fraud: Supreme Court Orders Akingbola To Face Trial
File photo

 

The National Judicial Council (NJC) under the Chairmanship of Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, has recommended to President Muhammadu Buhari the appointment of Justice Uwani Musa Abba Aji as the New Justice of the Supreme Court. 

The NJC Director of Information, Soji Oye, in a statement on Friday, said that the Council also recommended to the governors of Abia, Benue, Ogun, Oyo and Kwara states, the appointments of heads of courts in their states and other judges.

Oye added that the decision on those appointed were recommended to President Muhammadu Buhari at its 87th Meeting of 3rd and 4th October 2018.

He added that the newly appointed candidates will be sworn-in after the approval of President Buhari and their respective state governors as the case may be.

See the full list below:

  1. APPOINTMENT OF ONE (1) JUSTICE, SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA.

Honourable Mr Justice Uwani Musa Abba Aji, (JCA)

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, ABIA STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

Hon. Mr. Justice Onuoha Arisa Kalu Ogwe

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, BENUE STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

Hon. Mr. Justice Aondover Kaka’an

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, OGUN STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

Hon. Mr. Justice Mosunmola Arinola Dipeolu

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF THREE (3) JUDGES, OGUN STATE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

Oludayo Oluwabamise Osunfisan

Olusola Stephen Oloyede

Olatunde Hassan Oyajinmi

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF ONE (1) KADI SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL, KWARA STATE

Zakariyah Abdulrasaq

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF PRESIDENT, CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL, OYO STATE

Honourable Mr. Justice Eni Esan

 

NJC Recommends Appointment Of 21 State Judges

NJC Recommends Compulsory Retirement Of Two Judges
File photo of a cross section of judges

 

The National Judicial Council has recommended appointment of 21 candidates for the position of state judges.

Chaired by Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen, the NJC recommends that the 21 candidates take position as Heads of Courts and Judicial Officers for the Federal/State High Courts and the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

The council in a statement on Friday said this decision was reached after the 86th meeting of the council held on 8th and 9th May 2018.

The statement which was signed by the Director of Infornation, Soji Oye, added that newly appointed candidates will be sworn-in after the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari and their respective State Governors as the case may be.

 

Read fill list below…

  1. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, KEBBI STATE

Hon. Mr. Justice Elizabeth A. Karatu

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF JUDGE, KATSINA STATE

Hon. Mr. Justice Musa Danladi Abubakar

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF GRAND KADI KATSINA STATE

Hon. Kadi Alhafiz Mikail Abubakar

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF PRESIDENT, CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL, FCT

Hon. Mr. Justice Abbazih Musa Abubakar Saddeeq

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF TWO (2) JUDGES, HIGH COURT, NIGER STATE

Bilikisu Gambo Yusuf

Ishaku Usman

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF THREE (3) JUDGES, HIGH COURT, BORNO STATE

Musa Mustapha

Baba Gani Karumi

Waziri Alhaji Abubakar

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF THREE (3) JUDGES, HIGH COURT, KOGI STATE

Husaini Alhasan Saidu

Zubayr Saliu

Ruth Alolo Alfa

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF TWO (2) JUDGES, HIGH COURT, GOMBE STATE

Muhammad Haruna

Fatima Musa

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF TWO (2) KADIS SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL, GOMBE STATE

Muhammad Inuwa Gombe

Hadi Aminu

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF FOUR (4) KADIS SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL, GOMBE STATE

Ahmad Muhammad Gidado

Mustapha Lalloki

Dalha Bashir Ahmad

Atiku Muhammad Bello

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF ONE (1) MEMBER, CODE OF CONDUCT TRIBUNAL

Julie Abieyuwa Anabor

 

Senate Commences Screening Of Walter Onnoghen

Walter OnnoghenJustice Walter Onnoghen is currently facing the senate as hearing has commenced to confirm him as Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, had announced that the upper chamber will screen the Acting Chief Justice on Wednesday, March 1.

Senator Saraki made the announcement at the resumption of plenary on Tuesday morning.

Justice Onnoghen has been in acting capacity since November 10, 2016 when President Muhammadu Buhari okayed him for the position, following the retirement of Mahmud Mohammed.

Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, had sent his name to the senate for confirmation as Chief Justice Of Nigeria on February 8, just two days before the expiration of his three –month acting tenure.

Also, The National Judicial Council (NJC), had extended Mr Onnoghen’s tenure by another three months on the grounds that it may have been impossible for the Senate, which was on recess at the time, to reconvene and screen Onnoghen before the expiration date of his tenure.

The initial delay by President Buhari to send his name to the Senate had been trailed by criticism and condemnation, with some alleging ethnic bias as the reason for the president’s “seeming reluctance”.

The nomination was however contained in the presidency’s twitter handle saying: “Hon. Justice W.S. Onnoghen’s name has been sent to the Senate for confirmation as the next CJN.”

Justice Onnoghen has been a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria since 2005.

If confirmed by the Upper Legislative Chamber, he would be the first CJN from the southern part of the country in about 30 years.

Two Judges Up For Dismissal And Retirement

njcTwo 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.

Buhari Swears In Onnoghen As Acting Chief Justice Of Nigeria

walter-onnoghenPresident 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.

Anti-graft War: FG Sues Three Supreme Court Officials

Supreme Court, Kogi GovernorshipThe Nigerian government has charged three Supreme Court officials with nine counts, including alleged diversion of 2.2 billion Naira belonging to the court.

The Chief Registrar of the court, Mr Ahmed Saleh, Muhammed Sharif and Rilwanu Lawal are also accused of receiving gratifications totalling 74.4 million Naira from private contractors providing services to the Supreme Court between 2009 and 2016.

Mr Saleh is among persons shortlisted for final consideration by the National Judicial Council to succeed the outgoing Secretary of the council, Mr Danladi Halilu.

The date of their arraignment has not been fixed, but they will be facing nine counts of conspiracy, criminal breach of trust by allegedly diverting 2.2 billion belonging to the apex court and receiving gratification as public officers.

The Attorney General of the Federation filed the charges before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama on Thursday.

According to the charges, they were alleged to have received gratification from Willysdave Limited, Welcon Nigeria Limited, Dean Musa Nigeria Limited, Ababia Ventures Limited and MBR Computers Limited.

The alleged acts are contrary to section 315 of the Penal Code Act and punishable under the same section, by diverting the sum of N2.2bn belonging to the Supreme Court.

The accused persons allegedly deposited same into personal accounts with a Nigerian bank.

They allegedly conspired among themselves contrary to Section 96 of the Penal Code Act 2004 and punishable under Section 97 of the same Act to commit the illegal act of diverting the 2.2 billion Naira belonging to the apex court.

The prosecution alleged in counts three to nine that the accused, between 2009 and 2016, received gratification of 10 million Naira from Willysdave Limited, eight million Naira (in two tranches of six million Naira and two million Naira) from Welcon Nigeria Limited, 2.4 million Naira; 16 million Naira from Dean Musa Nigeria Limited; 19 million Naira from Ababia Ventures Limited and 21 million Naira from MBR Computers.

The offences of taking gratification by public officers are said to be contrary to Section 10 (a) (i) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission Act 2000 and are punishable under the same section of the Act.

Arrest Of Some Judges

The charges filed are coming weeks after the homes of some judges were raided, with some of them arrested by security operatives on allegations of corruption and misconduct.

This came on the same day the National Judicial Council (NJC) barred judges who are under investigation for various offences from sitting until the cases against them are concluded.

The decision of the NJC was contained in a statement on Thursday by its spokesman, Mr Soji Oye.

The Council explained in the statement “that Judicial Officers shall not be standing trial for alleged corruption related offences and be performing judicial functions at the same time”.

The decision, taken at its 79th meeting, appears to be a U-turn from its earlier position on the alleged corruption case against the judges.

Some of the judges are those arrested few weeks ago by operatives of the DSS over allegation of corruption and misconduct.

The NJC had resisted the call for the affected judges to be suspended, saying “that position breaches the 2014 revised judicial discipline regulations formulated by NJC pursuant to section 160 of the 1999 constitution”.

Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) was one of the major groups demanding that the judges under investigation should proceed on compulsory leave until their innocence is fully and completely established or until the conclusion of all judicial or disciplinary proceedings.

NJC Bars Judges Under Probe From Sitting

Judges, NJC, NBA, investigationThe National Judicial Council (NJC) has barred judges who are under investigation for various offences from sitting until the cases against them are concluded.

This is according to a statement signed by its Acting Director, Information, Mr. Soji Oye, on Thursday.

The Council explained in the statement “that Judicial Officers shall not be standing trial for alleged corruption related offences and be performing judicial functions at the same time”.

The decision, taken at its 79th meeting, appears to be a U-turn from its earlier position on the alleged corruption case against the judges.

Some of the judges are those arrested few weeks ago by operatives of the DSS over allegation of corruption and misconduct.

The NJC had resisted the call for the affected judges to be suspended, saying “that position breaches the 2014 revised judicial discipline regulations formulated by NJC pursuant to section 160 of the 1999 constitution”.

Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) was one of the major groups demanding that the judges under investigation should proceed on compulsory leave until their innocence is fully and completely established or until the conclusion of all judicial or disciplinary proceedings.

But the NJC insisted that it shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other authority or person while exercising its disciplinary power of control over judicial officers in the federation.

In addition to its latest decision, the NJC has also set up what it called a Transparency and Anti-Corruption Policy Implementation Committee.

This is based on Section 6 of the National Judicial Policy, which “aims at putting in place multifaceted strategies and guidelines that will ensure transparency and eliminate corruption in the Judiciary.

“It seeks, amongst other measures, to provide a platform and opportunity to citizens who profess factual and credible knowledge of information on the nature and modalities of corruption in the judicial system to ventilate such.”

The committee has as its chairman, Justice E. O. Ayoola, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court.

Members are the Chief Judge of Borno State, Justice Kashim Zannah, and the President of the Nigeria Bar Association, A. B. Mahmoud, SAN.

Corrupt Judges: Blame FG, Governors, CJN Tells SERAP

CJN, Recession, Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed, judiciaryThe Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Mahmud Mohammed, has said that the “the failure on the part of the Executive Arm of Government to act upon recommendations by the National Judicial Council (NJC) cannot be blamed upon the NJC”.

Justice Mohammed made the statement in a letter dated 26 October 2016 and sent to Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

The letter by a spokesman for the CJN, H. S. Sa’eed was in response to SERAP’s request to Justice Mohammed that he should, as the Chairman of the NJC to “take over from the Department of State Service (DSS) the cases of all the seven judges released by the DSS and refer the cases of those judges to anticorruption agencies for conclusion of investigation and prompt prosecution”.

But the CJN in reaction told SERAP that, “certainly, you will agree with me that where there are clear constitutional provisions relating to the power of any individual, institution or Arm of Government, then it cannot deviate nor exceed such powers as this will be unlawful”.

The letter by the CJN read: “While restating the willingness of the NJC to act upon any petition as well as commitment of the Nigerian judiciary to the fight against corruption, his Lordship opines that any significant involvement in the fight against corruption will be upon a similar commitment of the Prosecutorial Agencies to actively prosecute their cases expeditiously when information about same is received.

“It is necessary to restate that the NJC is a creation of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) being established under Section 153 with its mandate clearly set out in Para 21, Part One of the Third Schedule to the Constitution. This provision clearly stipulates at Para 21(b) and (d) that the Council may only ‘recommend’ to the President and the Governors, the removal from office of Judicial Officers and to exercise disciplinary control over such Judicial Officers, which in effect is the extent of its power to discipline. Hence, the Council cannot, suo moto dismiss any Judicial Officer.

“The NJC can also neither ‘hand over corrupt judges to law enforcement agencies for prosecution nor recover proceeds of corruption, as you have suggested. It can merely recommend to act upon its findings, as it has always done.

“However, in exercise of its constitutional mandate, the NJC has enacted the Judicial Discipline Regulations, 2014 in order to ensure that petitions are received, investigated and addressed as appropriate. As SERAP’s own Report attests, 64 Judicial Officers have been disciplined within five years even preceding the institution of the new guidelines. Any failure on the part of the Executive Arm of Government to act upon such recommendations cannot therefore be blamed upon the NJC.

“With due consideration to the contents of your letter, I am directed to acknowledge and address the concerns which SERAP have raised, which may reflect the wider opinion held by some Nigerians. While his Lordship doubtless appreciate SERAP’s concern for the incidence of corruption in the judiciary, it is indeed erroneous to conclude that the NJC has ‘felt satisfied with applying only civil sanctions and have not deemed it fit to hand over corrupt judges to law enforcement agencies for prosecution nor recover proceeds of corruption’, as insinuated in your letter under reference.

“To be sure, every citizen of Nigeria inclusive of Judicial Officers, are entitled to the protection of the law and a key provision of the Constitution is the presumption of innocence, as enshrined in Section 36(5) of the Constitution (as amended). I must also remind us that the Seven Judges like all other persons are entitled to a fair hearing as stipulated in Section 36 of the Constitution. As such, it would be presumptive and indeed preemptive to sanction the said judges without exhausting the proper procedure for their removal.”

“As a valuable member of the society, the Hon. CJN is certainly delighted with SERAP’s dedication to justice, fairness and justness. His Lordship also wishes to emphasize that it is indeed our collective responsibility to tackle any perceived challenges facing the Nigerian judiciary.”

“Indeed, with the support of well-meaning and eminent Nigerians such as members of SERAP, giant strides will be made towards reaching the goal of a transparent, fair and equitable system of justice. The Hon. CJN wishes you the best in your future endeavor as SERAP strives to support and entrench good governance in Nigeria”.

SERAP’s Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, had in a letter written to the NJC on October 11 expressed serious concern that “the NJC has for many years failed to appropriately deal with several cases of corrupt judges by failing to refer those cases to the EFCC and ICPC for prosecution. Many of these suspected corrupt judges are still alive and their cases should be promptly referred to the anti-corruption agencies. The NJC under your leadership should seize the opportunity of the just released 7 judges to comprehensively address corruption in the judiciary”.

SERAP said that it believed that “the NJC is in the best position to tackle corruption within the judiciary, and to ensure the application of appropriate disciplinary and legal measures in the cases of the released seven judges and other judges suspected of engaging in corruption”.

Lawyers Seek Investigation Into Allegations Of Rights Abuse In The Judiciary

Judges, NJC, NBA, investigationA group of lawyers are still kicking against the arrest of judges by the operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS) and the continued detention of Nigerians who have been granted bail by various courts.

The lawyers under the auspices of Lawyers in Defence of Democracy staged a protest on Monday in Abuja.

In a protest letter, the lawyers called on the National Judicial Council and the Chief Justice of Nigeria to direct all judges in the country not to hear any applications from the DSS and other agencies, except bail applications until there is obedience to all pending orders against them.

They alleged that there was continuous abuse of Nigeria and disregard for the rule of law and asked the National Human Rights Commission to investigate their claims.

Channels Television’s correspondent, Amaka Okafor, reports that the lawyers carrying placards were joined by musical groups.

The spokesman for the group, Kenga Ugochiyere, decried what he called disrespect for the judiciary by agencies of government, pointing out that it is not good for the country’s democracy.

“To ensure the independence of the judiciary the national judiciary must take a stance,” he stressed.

At the office of the National Human Rights Commission the group raised issues of abuse of court orders, citing persons that have remained in detention in spite of getting bail from the court.

After they tabled the issues, the Executive Secretary National Human Rights Commission, Professor Bem Angwe, assured them that the commission would look at their request and act accordingly.

This protest comes days after another group threw its weight behind the department of state services for the raid of judges‘ homes across the country.

Corruption Is Not Necessarily A Crime Against Humanity – Giwa Victor

corruption, crime, DSS
Giwa Victor

A National Coordinator, and Advocate for People’s Justice, Giwa Victor, says corruption in general, is not necessarily a crime against humanity.

This is in response to the conference held by the Presidential Council against corruption at the National assembly on October 18, where the Vice President lamented the state of corruption in Nigeria, describing it generally as “a crime against humanity”.

With the issue of corruption still taking centre stage, and the recent raid on judges, arguments are still ongoing as to the legality or otherwise of the actions of the DSS and ways to tackle the corruption menace.

Mr Giwa while explaining further said corruption for corruption to be described as a crime against humanity, there has to be specifically identified crime.

“In some quarters, because of the effect on the entire system of certain nations, some people tend to elevate corruption as a crime against humanity.

However, when considering poor roads, poor health care systems as well as standards of living, he says those issues have direct effects on the people and in such cases, corruption can be seen as a crime against humanity.

A Former Director of the Kenyan Anti-corruption Commission, Professor P.L.O Lumumba, said many African countries would have realized much economic growth but such growth has been stunted as a result of corruption.

He said this while giving his key note address also at the conference and recommended sanctions to deter corrupt persons.

Looking at the raid on Judges, Mr Giwa said contrary to the idea that the DSS came to protect them, their actions came to him as a shock.

Not only was the arrest a shock to him, but “the manner in which it was done, shows that they contemplated a strong resistance,” he added.

Giving insight on the duties of the DSS he opposed popular opinion that the DSS has superior power to make arrests.

Taking a look at the National Security Agency Act, he says according to section 2, the DSS ought to be performing duties as an intelligence gathering agency rather than violently taking action.

Lawyer Urges NJC To “Up Its Game” In Implementing Policies

lawyer, NJC, JudgesLawyer and Policy analyst, Isaac Anumudu has asked the judiciary to “up its game” in the implementation of delicate policies.

This follows the twist in the events taking place in the judiciary, as legal practitioners have been commenting on the new controversial National Judicial Policy.

The policy which states that when a petition is raised against a judicial officer and taken up to the level of the NJC, it should not be leaked to the press by the petitioner otherwise the institution would discontinue the investigation, appears not to go down well with many.

Although he admitted that there are corrupt judges, he said some of the petitions are not always meritorious. He says some are born out of frustrations.

“When someone loses a case, he naturally feels aggrieved and is likely to accuse the judge of bribery even when none of such may have happened,” he stated.

Explaining further, he said if the petition as unmeritorious as it may be, is first leaked to the press and the judge is being tried in the public domain, where the facts are not there to be verified, the judge is not being heard at all as it is understood that only lawyers speak on their behalf.

He says as a result, the judiciary is sometimes brought under severe threat which appears to be the motive for the directive and therefore advised the institution to be more vigilante and also strike a balance.

This according to him is so that it does not appear as though the NJC intends to gag the media or deprive citizens of their fundamental rights.

He added that with the Freedom Of Information/Expression Act, Nigerians have become very sensitive of any directive or policy that appears to gag the press.

He urged that things ought to be done transparently and openly because “we are in a democracy”

On the other hand, he supported the rule by the NJC, saying that it is in order to protect the institution of the judiciary while also praising the CJN.

“We are not dealing here with individual judges, but the whole judiciary.

Hence if you allow situations that people can just run down the institution at will, this would result in a problem that we would all suffer eventually,” he said.