Supreme Court Justices’ Complaint Underscores Need For Fundamental Reforms In Nigerian Judiciary, Says NBA

A file photo of NBA President, Olumide Akpata.

 

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) says there is an urgent need for fundamental reforms of the administration and governance of the Nigerian Judiciary.

President of the association, Olumide Akpata, said this in a statement on Wednesday, reacting to a letter written by 14 justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), alleging various improprieties and administrative inefficiencies and the subsequent response of the CJN.

The NBA noted that the situation has not not only affected the judicial responsibilities of the justices but also impacted on the justice administration process.

Read Also: CJN Replies Aggrieved Justices, Says No Hostility In Supreme Court

While advocate for the independence and financial autonomy of the Judiciary, the NBA also noted that it is important that the Judiciary must not only be, but should be seen as being, above board and transparent in the management and allocation of the resources currently available to it.

“The Judiciary must entrench the principles of accountability and probity in the manner in which it expends allocated resources. While the fight for increased budgetary allocations for the Judiciary continues, it is important that the available resources be used for the welfare and wellbeing of our Judicial Officers, as well as for the improvement of the infrastructure and facilities required by our Judges and Justices to effectively discharge their duties.

“There is a clear need for mechanisms to be put in place to ensure that the Judiciary (with the Supreme Court leading the charge) is providing the necessary template to other arms of government on transparent procurement and budgeting. This will reduce the perception in some quarters that the Judiciary is not accountable to anyone and is also not self-regulating.”

The NBA President also says that with the election season, and the humongous war chests that the politicians and political parties are amassing, the only way to insulate and make our Judges and Justices immune to the temptations of being corrupted by these politicians is to assure them of decent working conditions and adequate compensation both in and out of service.

The judges and Justices, on their part, have a duty to ensure that the honour and respect that is accorded the Judiciary by the public is not lost or dwindled, and that the public continues to hold the Judiciary in the highest esteem.

Read Full Statement Below:

Administration And Governance Of The Nigerian Judiciary – NBA’s

Position On Recent Developments At The Supreme Court Of Nigeria

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has become apprised of a letter written by 14 Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (“CJN”). alleging, among others, various improprieties and administrative inefficiencies that have not only affected their judicial responsibilities, but also impacted on the justice administration process.

The NBA also notes the response issued by the office of the CJN to the complaints.

At the Justice Sector Summit organised, in January 2022, by the NBA in collaboration with other key stakeholders, the related issues of funding, budgeting and administration of the Nigerian Judiciary, constituted the second of the three focus areas identified as being the greatest challenges confronting the Nigerian Judiciary.

At the end of that Summit, the NBA made far reaching proposals on how to tackle these challenges especially as regards the funding, budgeting, and administration of the Nigerian Judiciary.

The current developments at the Supreme Court which culminated in the above referenced letter and the CJN’s response underscore the necessity and urgency of fundamental reform of the administration and governance of the Nigerian Judiciary.

While the NBA notes the CJN’s response and appreciates the economic challenges plaguing the country as a whole, it is nonetheless disheartening to learn that in spite of the high expectations that the society have of the Justices, some of the basic necessities which they require to function properly are currently lacking.

Besides their stagnated income over the years, a situation where there is no formal scheme for the mandatory appointment of judicial assistants for the Justices, no regular training for their improvement, limited or no internet access for their operations, is, to say the least, unfortunate.

For Justices of the Supreme Court, who are generally known to be taciturn in making demands, to resort to penning down their grievances in the unprecedented manner that they have done indicates that they had obviously reached their tolerance peak. Thankfully, as the CJN advised, these issues are now being addressed in the short term.

One of the cardinal responsibilities of the NBA is to advocate for the independence and financial autonomy of the Judiciary as we have been doing over the years. However, as we continue in that advocacy, it is particularly important that the Judiciary must not only be, but should be seen as being, above board and transparent in the management and allocation of the resources currently available to it.

The Judiciary must entrench the principles of accountability and probity in the manner in which it expends allocated resources. While the fight for increased budgetary allocations for the Judiciary continues, it is important that the available resources be used for the welfare and wellbeing of our Judicial Officers, as well as for the improvement of the infrastructure and facilities required by our Judges and Justices to effectively discharge their duties.

There is a clear need for mechanisms to be put in place to ensure that the Judiciary (with the Supreme Court leading the charge) is providing the necessary template to other arms of government on transparent procurement and budgeting. This will reduce the perception in some quarters that the Judiciary is not accountable to anyone and is also not self-regulating.

As I have noted elsewhere, this is election season, and we are all witnesses to the humongous war chests that the politicians and political parties are amassing.

The only way to insulate and make our Judges and Justices immune to the temptations of being corrupted by these politicians is to assure them of decent working conditions and adequate compensation both in and out of service.

Our Judges and Justices, on their part, have a duty to ensure that the honour and respect that is accorded the Judiciary by the public is not lost or dwindled, and that the public continues to hold the Judiciary in the highest esteem.

For us at the NBA, we will continue to do all that we can to defend and support the Judiciary towards achieving these objectives, enthroning probity, and generally living up to expectations.

OLUMIDE AKPATA

PRESIDENT

21 st June 2022

NJC Issues New Guidelines On Election Cases

A Photo of the NJC building

 

The National Judicial Council (NJC), has issued “Policy Directions” on political and election-related cases to heads of courts nationwide.

This was disclosed to Channels Television on Wednesday by the NJC spokesperson, Soji Oye.

Read Full Statement Below: 

PRESS RELEASE

​​ 11th May 2022

• NJC issues Policy Directions on Political and Election-related cases to Head of Courts Nationwide. To take immediate effect;
• Also recommends the appointment of Forty-nine (49) Judicial Officers

Concerned by the multiplicity of litigations of political suits at different Courts of coordinate jurisdiction across the nation, resulting in conflicting orders on the same issues and facts, the National Judicial Council at its 98thMeeting of 10 and 11 May 2022 under the Chairmanship of The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR, issued Policy Directions in order to remedy the situation.
The Directions to all Federal and State Courts reads as follows:
“Pursuant to the powers vested in the National Judicial Council by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Schedule III, Part I, 21 (i).

These Policy Directions shall apply to all Suits filed in any Court in Nigeria wherein the Parties include Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), any political party or its officers, any other person, natural or legal, suing or sued for a declaration in relation to any action taken or to compel or restrain any action or omission with respect to the affairs of a political party or any election into a public office.

1. OBJECTIVES AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES
These Directions seek to:

a. Prevent the multiplicity of litigations at different Courts of coordinate jurisdiction across the nation, resulting in conflicting orders on the same issues and facts;

b. Recognise that Courts need to embrace prudential limitations on their powers with a view to curtailing the incidences of unscrupulous forum shopping disrupting the administration of justice and the democratic process; and

c. Acknowledge that the circumstances necessitate further administrative measures and procedures to complement and support the judicial process.

2.​DIRECTIONS:
Without prejudice to the powers of Election Petitions, Tribunals constituted pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Pending the Constitution of a Cross Jurisdiction Litigation Panel (CJLP) to give directions on appropriate litigation for a for cross-jurisdiction litigations:

a. All suits to which these Policy Directions apply shall be filed, received, or entertained only at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in so far as the relief sought, or potential consequential order (s) or declaration (s) may restrain or compel persons or actions beyond the territorial jurisdiction of any one State;

b. Where such suits are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, they shall be filed or received at Abuja and assigned by the Chief Judge of the Court;

c. All such Suits wherein the cause of action arose in a State and the relief seeks a declaration or to compel or restrain persons (s), natural or legal, within that State’s territory, with no consequence outside the State, shall be filed, received, or heard only in that State;

d. All Heads of Court shall assign cases or constitute panels with a view to forestalling the incidences of conflicting judgements and rulings;

e. Once facts or issues have been ruled upon, no other Court or Panel of Coordinate Jurisdiction shall be assigned or entertain Suits on the same subject matter and parties shall comply or proceed on appeal to the appropriate higher Court;

f. Rules of Court shall require sufficient notice and publicity of actions that potentially impact other cases;

g. Rules of Court shall stipulate solemn disclosure duties on litigants filing actions that may impact other actions.

Heads of Court shall exercise their rule-making and administrative powers to give effect to these Policy Directions.

These directions shall take effect from the 11 May 2022”.

APPOINTMENT OF JUDICIAL OFFICERS
Council also considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee and recommended forty-nine (49) successful candidates for appointment as Heads of Courts and other Judicial Officers in Nigeria.

Council also received Six (6) notifications of retirement and One (1) notification of death from the Federal and State High Courts.

Soji Oye, Esq
Director, Information

Three Judges Barred From Promotion For Granting Conflicting Orders

A Photo of the NJC building

 

Three Judges of Courts who granted conflicting ex parte orders have been barred from promotion to higher bench for a period ranging from two to five years whenever they are due.

The National Judicial Council took the decision following its two days meeting held on December 14 and 15 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

In a statement issued on Thursday, NJC’s Director of Information, Soji Oye, said even though there was no written petition, allegations of corruption or impropriety against the subject judges, the Council nevertheless, initiated investigation.

The move, he said, is in pursuant to the NJC’s inherent disciplinary powers under the Constitution to unravel the circumstances that led to the spate of Exparte Orders granted by these Courts of coordinate jurisdiction over matters bearing same parties and subject matter.

The National Judicial Council rose from its two days meeting held on 14 and 15 December 2021, with a resolution to bar the three Judges of Courts of concurrent jurisdiction who granted conflicting Exparte Orders in matters with the same parties and subject matter from promotion to higher Bench for a period ranging from two to five years whenever they are due.

READ ALSO: Senate Postpones Passage Of 2022 Budget

“Even though there was no written petition, allegations of corruption or impropriety against the subject judges, Council nevertheless, initiated an investigation pursuant to its inherent disciplinary powers under the Constitution to unravel the circumstances that led to the spate of Exparte Orders granted by these Courts of coordinate jurisdiction over matters bearing same parties and subject matter,” the statement read.

NJC Deputy Chairman of Council, Hon. Justice Mary Peter-Odili, who chaired the meeting agreed with the recommendations of the Investigation Committee set up in September 2021.

During the meeting, Hon. Justice Okogbule Gbasam of the High Court of Rivers State was barred from elevation to higher Bench for two years whenever he is due.

Hon. Justice Nusirat I. Umar of the High Court of Kebbi State be barred from elevation to higher Bench for two years whenever due.

NJC Recommends Six Chief Judges, 31 Others For Appointment

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

 

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the appointment of six Chief Judges and 31 others as Judicial Officers to take up judicial functions in some states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

NJC Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, noting that the recommendation was made during NJC’s 95th meeting held on Sept.15 and Sept. 16.

He said that all recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by President Muhammadu Buhari and their respective state governors and confirmation by the respective State Houses of Assembly.

“At its 95th meeting held on September 15 and 16, 2021, the council considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee and recommended the 38 successful candidates to their respective state governors for appointment as Heads of Courts and other Judicial Officers in Nigeria,” the statement read.

Those recommended as Chief Judges are Justices Richard O. Olorunfemi for Kogi state, Joe Itsebaga Acha for Edo, Akintoroye Williams Akin for Ondo, Husseini Baba Yusuf for FCT, Ekaette Francesca Fabian-Obot for Akwa Ibom and J. O. Adeyeye for Ekiti.

Others are Baba Gana Mahdi as Grand Kadi, Yobe;  Umaru Ahmad Liman as Grand Kadi, Bauchi; Osagede Osado Emmanuel as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Nasarawa; Mashud Akintunde Akinfemi Abbas as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Oyo state and Siyaka Momoh Jimoh Usman as President Customary Court of Appeal, Kogi.

Three Judges were recommended for High Court of Gombe and they are Zainab Abdulkadir Rasheed, Abdussalam Muhammad and Daurabo Suleiman Sikka.

The NJC spokesman added, “Akwa Ibom has two, Effiong Asukwo Effiong and Princess Eme Daniel Ekong; Bauchi has one, Nana Fatima Jibril; while Kaduna State High court has two, Abdulkarim Mahmud and Eugene Michael.

“The three candidates recommended for Katsina State are Kabir Shuaibu, Ibrahim Ishaku Mashi, and Ibrahim Abubakar Mande while Professor Alero Akeredolu was recommended for Ondo State.”

According to the statement, the four successful candidates for Oyo State High Court are Olusola Adebisi Adetujoye, Folabimpe Beatrice Segun Olakojo, Professor Taiwo Elijah Adewale and Kareem Adeyimika Adedokun

Kogi State has three candidates for its High Court and they are Abubakar Sule Ibrahim, Abdullah Sulyman as well as Aminu Ali Eri.

Two Kadis for Gombe Sharia Court of Appeal are Adamu Kuna Jibril and Ahmed Baba Bala while the four for Bauchi are Musa Sani Abubakar, Mahdi Manga, Khamis Al-Hamidallah Muhammad, and Sani Musa with Ondo State having one in person of Orimisan James Okorisa and Oyo Customary Court of Appeal having Ajadi Olubukola Omolayo.

Three Judges To Face NJC Panel Over Conflicting Court Orders

A Photo of the NJC building

 

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has set up a probe panel to investigate three High Court judges who issued conflicting ex-parte orders.

According to the NJC, the judges are to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against them for their actions.

The investigative committee was set up by the council, under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Tanko Muhammad at its 95th meeting held on September 15 and 16 in line with the principles of fair hearing.

Justice Muhammad, who expressed displeasure over the development, had threatened without mentioning names that three of the judges who issued the controversial orders would be made scapegoats.

“We shall make an example with these three judges and never shall we condone such [an] act,” the CJN was quoted as saying in a statement issued by NJC spokesman, Soji Oye.

Last week, Justice Muhammed held a marathon meeting with the six chief judges in the affected jurisdictions of Rivers, Kebbi, Cross River, Jigawa, Anambra, and Imo over the conflicting ex parte orders.

He warned that the judiciary would no longer condone indiscipline or allow any judge to tarnish the image of the judiciary.

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.

Resumption Of Courts: NJC Sets Up Monitoring Team

NBA president-elect, Olumide Apata. Photo: [email protected] Akpata

 

Ahead of the planned resumption of courts on Monday the 14th of June, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata has disclosed that a monitoring committee set up by the National Judicial Council (NJC) will address the concerns raised by JUSUN.

In a statement dated 9th of June, Mr. Akpata says, “the committee is to ensure that Governors do not renege from their financial and ancillary commitments which influenced JUSUN’s decision to suspend the strike.

According to the statement, the monitoring committee will be Chaired by a retired justice officer the Supreme Court, the Emir of Lafia, Nassarawa State, His Royal Highness, Justice Sidi Bage.

READ ALSO: All Social Media Platforms, Others Must Be Registered In Nigeria – Lai Mohammed

Other members of the committee are, the President of the National Industrial Court, Justice Benedict Kanyip, the Chief Judge of Abia State, Justice Onuoha Ogwe, the NBA President, and a Snr Advocate of Nigeria, Dr. Muiz Banire.

The NBA President also noted that after initial hesitation, the state governors on the 4th of June signed their part of the negotiated agreement with JUSUN which requires them to release funds to the Heads of Courts in their respective states before the strike can be called off.

In concluding, the statement says “while we express optimism never to read this path again…, the NBA will continue to engage with the state governors and JUSUN towards a holistic resolution of the issues that necessitated the industrial action in the first instance.

The strike which seeks the implementation of the financial autonomy of the judiciary began on the 6th of April and was in its 10th week before it was called off on Wed, the 9th of June.

NJC Recommends Appointment Of 28 Judges, Issues Strict Warning To Two Jurists

A Photo of the NJC building

 

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the appointment of 26 judges across the federation.

In a statement issued on Friday by its spokesman, Soji Oye, the council also issued a strict warning to two judges.

According to the statement, the NJC took the decisions after a meeting held on March 17-18 under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Ibrahim Muhammad.

“The National Judicial Council under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad CFR, at its 94 th Meeting held on 17 to 18 March 2021, considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee and resolved to recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and the Governors of Rivers, Nasarawa, Kogi, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Delta States twenty-six (26) successful candidates for appointment as Justices of Court of Appeal and Heads of Court in Nigeria,” the statement partly read.

READ ALSO: FG Remains Resolute In Tackling Abductions Of Schoolchildren, Says Buhari

“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.”

SEE FULL STATEMENT BELOW:

PRESS RELEASE

18 March 2021

 NJC recommends the appointment of twenty-six (26) Judicial Officers, eighteen (18) Justices of the Court of Appeal and eight (8) Heads of Court; Empanels Committee to investigate one Judge; Issues two strong warning letters to Judges

The National Judicial Council under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad CFR, at its 94th Meeting held on 17 to 18 March 2021, considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee and resolved to recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and the Governors of Rivers, Nasarawa, Kogi, Jigawa, Ebonyi and the Delta States twenty-six (26) successful candidates for appointment as Justices of Court of Appeal and Heads of Court in Nigeria.

They are as follows:

2

  1. EIGHTEEN (18) JUSTICES, COURT OF APPEAL
  2. i) Hon. Justice Bature Isah Gafai
  3. ii) Hon. Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Sirajo

iii) Hon. Justice Waziri Abdul-Azeez

  1. iv) Hon. Justice Yusuf Alhaji Bashir
  2. v) Hon. Justice Usman A. Musale
  3. vi) Hon. Justice Jauro Ibrahim Wakili

vii) Hon. Justice Abba Bello Mohammed

viii) Hon. Grand Kadi Mohammed Danjuma

  1. ix) Hon. Justice Danlami Zama Senchi
  2. x) Hon. Justice Mohammed Lawal Abubakar
  3. 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

  1. 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

  1. CHIEF JUDGE, FCT, ABUJA
  2. i) Hon. Justice Salisu Garba Abdullahi
  3. CHIEF JUDGE, RIVERS STATE
  4. i) Hon. Justice Simeon Chibuzor Amadi
  5. CHIEF JUDGE, NASARAWA STATE
  6. i) Hon. Justice Aisha Bashir Aliyu
  7. CHIEF JUDGE, KOGI STATE
  8. i) Hon. Justice Sunday Omeiza Otu
  9. CHIEF JUDGE, JIGAWA STATE
  10. i) Hon. Justice Umar Maigari Sadiq
  11. CHIEF JUDGE, EBONYI STATE
  12. i) Hon. Justice Ngene Anagu Elvis
  13. CHIEF JUDGE, DELTA STATE
  14. i) Hon. Justice Theresa T. Obiajulu Ogochukwu Diai
  15. PRESIDENT, CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL,

DELTA STATE

  1. i) Hon. Justice Patience Onuwa Elumeze

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

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.

5 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

6 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.

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

Soji Oye, Esq

Director, Information

NJC Recommends Retirement Of Two Judges, Dismisses Petitions Against 18 Others

A Photo of the NJC building

 

 

The National Judicial Council has recommended the compulsory retirement of two judges and dismissed petitions against 18 others.

In a statement issued on Sunday by the Director of Information, Soji Oye, the decision followed NJC’s 93rd Meeting which held in Abuja virtually on December 16.

According to him, the affected judges are Hon. Grand Kadi, Shu’aibu A. Talba, the Grand Kadi of Yobe State and Hon. Justice Abdulkareem Babatunde Abdulrasaq of Osun State High Court.

“The National Judicial Council at its 93rd Meeting of 16th December 2020 held virtually has recommended the compulsory retirement of Hon. Grand Kadi, Shu’aibu A. Talba, the Grand Kadi of Yobe State and Hon. Justice Abdulkareem Babatunde Abdulrasaq of Osun State High Court with immediate effect,” the statement partly read.

“Similarly, Council considered the Report of the Interview Committee and recommended the appointment of Sixty-nine (69) Judicial Officers as Heads of Court, Judges of High Court of States, Kadis of States/FCT Sharia Courts of Appeal and Judges of the Customary Courts of Appeal.”

SEE FULL STATEMENT:

PRESS RELEASE

18th December, 2020

  • NJC recommends the compulsory retirement of two Judicial Officers, dismisses petitions against 18 others;

 

  • Recommends appointment of 69 (Sixty-Nine) Judicial Officers

The National Judicial Council at its 93rd Meeting of 16 December 2020 held virtually has recommended the compulsory retirement of Hon. Grand Kadi, Shu’aibu A. Talba, the Grand Kadi of Yobe State and Hon. Justice Abdulkareem Babatunde Abdulrasaq of Osun State High Court with immediate effect.

Hon. Grand Kadi Shu’aibu Talba

Hon. Grand Kadi Shu’aibu Talba was recommended for compulsory retirement following an investigation into a petition against him written by one Malam Zakar Adamu, Chairman, Movement for Justice in Nigeria, alleging that His Lordshipfalsified his age on two occasions, i.e. from 1st February, 1955 to 27th August, 1955 and later to 30th December, 1959.

Findings revealed that he was supposed to have retired on 1st February, 2020 by virtue of his declared date of birth of 1st February 1955.

Council, after deliberation, decided to recommend His Lordship’s compulsory retirement to Governor Mai Mala Buniof Yobe State. Furthermore, Council requested the Government of Yobe State to deduct all salaries received by His Lordship from 1st February, 2020 till date, from his gratuity, and remit same to the National Judicial Council that pays salaries of all Judicial Officers in the Federation.​

 

HON. JUSTICE ABDUL-KAREEM BABATUNDE ABDULRASAQ

 

Council also considered a petition by Chief Yomi Alliyu, SAN, and found merit in his allegation against Hon. Justice Abdul-Kareem Babatunde Abdulrasaq that His Lordship falsified his date of birth from 3rd September, 1955 to 3rd September, 1957.

Council, therefore, recommended His Lordship’s compulsory retirement to Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State with effect from 3rd September, 2020. It also requested the Osun State Government to deduct from His Lordship gratuity, salaries received by him from 3rd September, 2020, and remit same to the National Judicial Council.

Meanwhile, in the exercise of its disciplinary powers under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, the National Judicial Council has suspended Hon. Grand Kadi Talba and Hon. Justice Abdul-Kareem Babatunde Abdulrasaq from office pending the approval of the recommendation of their compulsory retirements by their respective Governors.

REPORT OF PRELIMINARY COMPLAINTS ASSESSMENT COMMITTEES

 

Council also considered the Reports of its two Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committees and agreed with the recommendations to dismiss Eighteen (18) petitions against the following fourteen (14) Judicial Officers:

Federal High Court

Hon. Justice Simon A. Amobeda,

Hon. Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo,

Hon. Justice Nnamdi Dimgba

Hon. Justice R. O. Dugbo Oghoghorie

 

Delta State High Court

Hon. Justice T. O. Uloho

Hon. Justice Michael N. Obi

 

Lagos State High Court

Hon. Justice G. M. Onyeabo

 

Rivers State High Court

Hon. Justice A. I. Iyayi-Lamikanra, Chief Judge, Rivers State

Hon. Justice A. U. Kingsley-Chuku

Hon. Justice J. N. Ukpugwnum

 

Taraba State High Court

Hon. Justice F. B. Andetur, Chief Judge, Taraba State

Enugu State High Court

Hon. Justice Comfort C. Ani

Gombe State High Court

Hon. Justice M. A. Pindiga

Kebbi State High Court

Hon. Justice M. M. Umar

INTERVIEW COMMITTEE

Similarly, Council considered the Report of the Interview Committee and recommended the appointment of Sixty-nine (69) Judicial Officers as Heads of Court, Judges of High Court of States, Kadis of States/FCT Sharia Courts of Appeal and Judges of the Customary Courts of Appeal.

In another development, Council also received and approved the Report of its Committee on Appointments, Promotion and Discipline which recommended the promotion of Seventy (70) Members of Staff of the National Judicial Council.

NOTIFICATIONS OF DEATH AND RETIREMENT OF JUDICIAL OFFICERS

 

The notifications of retirement of 12 Judicial Officers and notifications of death of three (3) Judges of Federal and State Courts were also received and noted by Council.

Soji Oye, Esq

Director, Information

 

NJC Recommends Appointment Of 22 Judges For Supreme Court, Others

A file photo of the Supreme Court in Abuja.

 

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the appointment of 22 judges for the Supreme Court and other courts of the federation.

In a statement on Friday, NJC’s Director of Information, Soji Oye, explained that the decision to recommend the appointment of the judges was taken at the second virtual meeting of the Council which held on August 11 and 12 respectively.

The meeting was chaired by the NJC Chairman and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

A breakdown of the figure indicates that four of the judges are recommended as Supreme Court Justices, three Heads of Court, 11 judges for State High Courts, and four Kadis of the Sharia Court of Appeal.

NJC recommended the judges to President Muhammadu Buhari and governors of the respective states for the appointments.

Read the full statement below:

PRESS RELEASE

13th August 2020

NJC recommends appointment of four (4) Justices, Supreme Court of Nigeria, three (3) Heads of Court, eleven (11) Judges for State High Courts and four (4) Kadis, of Sharia Court of Appeal

The National Judicial Council under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad CFR, at its 2nd Virtual Meeting held on 11th and 12th August, 2020, considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee and resolved to recommend the under-listed names of twenty-two (22) successful candidates to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and their respective State Governors for appointment as Justices of Supreme Court of Nigeria, Heads of Court and other Judicial Officers in Nigeria.

They are as follows:

  1. APPOINTMENT OF FOUR (4) JUSTICES, SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA
  2. i) Justice Tijjani Abubakar

(North-East Zone)

  1. ii) Justice Mohammed L. Garba

(North-West Zone)

iii)           Hon. Justice Abdu Aboki

(North-West Zone)

  1. iv) Justice Mohammed M. Saulawa

(North-west Zone)

The Supreme Court of Nigeria currently have a total number of 12 Justices including the Hon. The Chief Justice of Nigeria, consisting of two (2) Justices from North Central, one (1) from the North East, one (1) from North West, three (3) from South East, one (1) from the South South and three (3) from the South West.

  1. APPOINTMENT CHIEF JUDGE, YOBE STATE
  2. i) Justice Gumna Kashim Kaigama
  3. APPOINTMENT OF GRAND KADI, SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL, KATSINA STATE
  4. i) Kadi Muhammed Abubakar
  5. APPOINTMENT OF PRESIDENT, CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL, IMO STATE
  6. i) Justice Mathew Emeka Njoku

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF SIX (6) JUDGES, HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE, KANO STATE
  2. i) Jamilu Shehu Suleiman
  3. ii) Maryam Ahmen Sabo

iii)           Sanusi Ado Ma’aji

  1. iv) Abdu Maiwada Abubakar
  2. v) Zuwaira Yusuf
  3. vi) Hafsat Yahaya Sani
  4. APPOINTMENT OF TWO (2) JUDGES, HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE, TARABA STATE
  5. i) Clara Jummai Kataps
  6. ii) Kazera Blessing Kodiya

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF FOUR (4) KADIS SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL, KADUNA STATE
  2. i) Muhammad Aminu Danjuma
  3. ii) Mustapha Umar

iii)           Muhammad Tukur Rashid

  1. iv) Muhammad Nasir Sidi

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF THREE (3) JUDGES, CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL, DELTA STATE
  2. i) Gabriel Nkeiruka Dele Okafor
  3. ii) Grace Abanre Ibiye

iii)           Jessica Susan Gberevbie

All recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR and their respective State Governors and confirmation by the National Assembly and the respective State House of Assemblies.

Soji Oye, Esq

Director, Information

NJC Recommends Appointment Of 22 Judicial Officers, Warns Judge

A Photo of the NJC building

 

The National Judicial Commission (NJC), has recommended the appointment of 22 officers for Federal and State judiciaries.

The recommendation was considered during a virtual meeting held on Wednesday and Thursday in Abuja.

A statement by the Director of Information of the Council, Soji Oye, (Esq) says that council considered the Report of its Interview Committee and recommended twenty-two (22) Judicial Officers as Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Heads of Court, Judges of High Court of States, Kadis of States Sharia Courts of Appeal and Judges of Customary Courts of Appeal.

“The NJC received the final report of the Judicial Ethics Committee and other Ad-Hoc Committees set up.

“The council also received the notification of the retirement of thirteen (13) Judges and notification of the death of six (6) Judges of States High Courts and Sharia Court of Appeal”, the statement read.

Similarly, the NJC under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Dr Justice I. T. Muhammad CFR, considered the Report of its Investigation Committee on allegation of misconduct made against Hon. Justice K. N. Ogbonnaya of High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

At the end of the deliberation, the Plenary resolved to issue a warning letter to Hon. Justice K. N. Ogbonnaya of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory following its findings on the petition written against him by Dr. Uchechukwu Samson Ogah, OON, that His Lordship refused to release a copy of the judgment delivered to the petitioner within the constitutionally prescribed period of seven (7) days.

During the meeting, the petition written by Mrs. Ademujimi Adenike Nancy against Hon. Justice Sunday Olorundahunsi was dismissed for want of merit.

The Council also considered the Report of Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee on petitions written against the following sixteen (16) Judicial Officers and dismissed the allegations levelled against Hon. Justice Ayodele Daramola, Chief Judge, Ekiti State, Sulyman Kawu, Chief Judge, Kwara State, Hon. Justices I. N. Oweibo, Hadiza R. Shagari, Ijeoma L. Ojukwu, Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa all of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justices B. A. Oke-Lawal, O. A. Ogala of the Lagos State High Court, Hon. Justice Augusta Uche Kingsley-Chukwu, High Court of Rivers State, Hon. Justice Mustapha A. Ramat, High Court, Nasarawa State, Hon. Justices M. M. Ladan, Muhammed Lawal Bello both of the High Court of Kaduna State, Hon. Justice Adamu M. Kafin Madaki, High Court of Bauchi State, Hon. Justice L. M. Boufini, High Court, Bayelsa State and Hon. Kadi Goni Kur, Sharia Court of Appeal, Borno State for either lacking in merit or being subjudice.

Read Full Statement Below:

PRESS RELEASE: NJC RECOMMENDS APPOINTMENT OF TWENTY-TWO (22) JUDICIAL OFFICERS FOR FEDERAL AND STATE JUDICIARIES; • ISSUES LETTER OF WARNING TO A JUDGE.

The National Judicial Council under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad CFR, at its 2nd Virtual Meeting held on 11th and 12th August 2020, considered the Report of its Investigation Committee on allegation of misconduct made against Hon. Justice K. N. Ogbonnaya of High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

At the end of the deliberation, the Plenary resolved to issue a warning letter to Hon. Justice K. N. Ogbonnaya of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory following its findings on the petition written against him by Dr. Uchechukwu Samson Ogah, OON, that His Lordship refused to release a copy of Judgment delivered to the petitioner within the constitutionally prescribed period of seven (7) days.

In the same vein, Council also dismissed a petition written by Mrs. Ademujimi Adenike Nancy against Hon. Justice Sunday Olorundahunsi for want of merit.

Council also considered the Report of Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee on petitions written against the following sixteen (16) Judicial Officers and dismissed the allegations levelled against Hon. Justice Ayodele Daramola, Chief Judge, Ekiti State, Sulyman Kawu, Chief Judge, Kwara State, Hon. Justices I. N. Oweibo, Hadiza R. Shagari, Ijeoma L. Ojukwu, Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa all of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justices B. A. Oke-Lawal, O. A. Ogala of the Lagos State High Court, Hon. Justice Augusta Uche Kingsley-Chukwu, High Court of Rivers State, Hon. Justice Mustapha A. Ramat, High Court, Nasarawa State, Hon. Justices M. M. Ladan, Muhammed Lawal Bello both of the High Court of Kaduna State, Hon. Justice Adamu M. Kafin Madaki, High Court of Bauchi State, Hon. Justice L. M. Boufini, High Court, Bayelsa State and Hon. Kadi Goni Kur, Sharia Court of Appeal, Borno State for either lacking in merit or being subjudice.

Similarly, at the Meeting, Council considered the Report of its Interview Committee and recommended twenty-two (22) Judicial Officers as Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Heads of Court, Judges of High Court of States, Kadis of States Sharia Courts of Appeal and Judges of Customary Courts of Appeal.

It also received the final report of the Judicial Ethics Committee and other Ad-Hoc Committees set up.

Council also received the notification of the retirement of thirteen (13) Judges and notification of the death of six (6) Judges of States High Courts and Sharia Court of Appeal.

Soji Oye, Esq

Director, Information

NJC Recommendation: Justice Reform Project Challenges Shortlist, Asks Court To Restrain Buhari

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

A group of like-minded senior lawyers under the aegis of ‘The Justice Reform Project’, (JRP) has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to restrain President Muhammadu Buhari from appointing as judges, 21 persons recently recommended to him by the National Judicial Council, NJC.

The group is also urging the court to grant a perpetual injunction stopping the President from approving the appointment of the 21 persons, as judges of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja has failed to meet conditions for such appointment.

JRP, was set up in February 2019 with membership cutting across senior and junior lawyers. It consists of not less than 20 Senior Advocates of Nigeria with members including Kayode Sofola, Tani Molajo, Funke Adekoya, Femi Atoyebi, and Yemi Candide-Johnson.

READ ALSO: NJC Clears Federal Judge Of Misconduct

Apart from the President, JRP has listed the NJC, the Judicial Service Committee of the FCT, the Attorney General of the Federation, and the 21 nominated persons (who include Magistrates and lawyers) as defendants in the suit.

JRP also wants the court to decide whether, the NJC or the Judicial service committee of the FCT, has the power to recommend for appointment as judges, any person who neither meets the criteria nor satisfy the conditions laid down in the extant Guidelines and Procedural Rules for the Appointment of Judicial Officers in Nigeria.

The group is seeking a declaration of the court that the 5th to 25th Defendants are not suitable persons for appointment as judges,
having failed to meet the criteria and satisfy the conditions set out in the extant Guidelines and Procedural Rules.

In a 24 paragraph-affidavit sworn to by the Chairman of the JRP Governing Board, Mrs. Funke Adekoya (SAN), the group says, “it is concerned about the dysfunctional justice system in Nigeria” and it has therefore embarked on a mission to restore and sustain the integrity of the judiciary in order to regain public confidence in the dispensation of justice in the Nigerian Courts.

The suit has been assigned to Justice Okon Abang who has fixed the 10th of July for hearing.