The National Judicial Council (NJC) will probe three judges for granting conflicting ex-parte orders on the same matters.
The NJC Director of Information, Soji Oye, who disclosed this in a statement on Monday, said the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Mohammed, gave the directive during a marathon meeting with seven Chief Judges in Abuja.
The chief judges were those of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Rivers, Kebbi, Cross River, Jigawa, Anambra, and Imo States.
Justice Mohammed had last week summoned an emergency meeting with the chief judges over conflicting court orders that emanated from their judicial divisions within the last one month.
According to the statement, the CJN gave the NJC the go-ahead to investigate the three judges without a formal complaint pending against them.
The three judges had been invited to appear before the NJC to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against them for granting conflicting exparte orders.
He also asked the chief judges to caution judges under them to desist from granting exparte orders especially on political matters.
The NJC will meet with all heads of court in the country and leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) over the repeated abuse of judicial process through indiscriminate applications for exparte injunctions in the coming days.
The statement read: “Each of the CJs was separately quizzed by the CJN for over an hour before later reading a riot act in a joint session with all of them.
“The CJN warned the CJs to henceforth avoid the unnecessary assumption of jurisdiction in matters with similar subjects and parties already before another court, protect the court from lawyers that are out for forum shopping and work in tandem with all their Judges to salvage the image of the Judiciary.
“Hon. Dr. Justice Muhammad also warned the CJs from making newly appointed Judicial Officers vacation judges and assigning complex cases to inexperienced judges.
“He revealed that all Heads of Courts will be invited to a meeting to reemphasize the need for the judiciary to be circumspect on granting exparte orders and will also meet with the NBA leadership on the issue.
“The CJN advised all Heads of Court to be current on the development 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.
“He concluded that the judiciary will no longer condone indiscipline or allow any Judge to tarnish the image of the judiciary.”
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