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NJC absolves tribunal judge accused of taking bribe by Smart Adeyemi



NJC absolves tribunal judge accused of taking bribe by Smart Adeyemi

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has thrown out a petition against Justice Akon Ikpeme, of allegations of collecting bribe to deliver judgement in favour of Senator Dino in 2015.

This was disclosed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mba Ukweni, whenje spoke to journalists in Calabar, the Cross River State capital on Sunday.

Justice Ikpeme, who headed the National and State Houses of Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal for Kogi State in 2015, was accused of collecting bribe by Senator Smart Adeyemi and others.

According to Ukweni, Justice Ikpeme was absolved of the accusation by a panel set up by National Judicial Council in its report.

He said: “The council in its meeting held on the 18th of April 2019, after deliberating on the report of the committee accepted the findings of the panel and dismissed the petitions for lack of merit,” he said.

According to Ukweni, he was among the team of lawyers that defended Justice Ikpeme before a three-man panel set up by the National Judicial Council.

He said: “The three-man panel appointed by NJC to investigate the complaints, duly and meticulously investigated the complaints and found them to be false and unfounded.

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“The judge strongly denied making confession to anybody and challenged the petitioners to produce the unnamed Presidential aide before whom she was alleged to have confessed but they were unable to do so.”

Ukweni also said that the Court of Appeal in a unanimous decision upheld the judgment of the tribunal in the appeal filed before it in 2015 and described social media reports that the judge confessed to a presidential aide that she was compromised as fake news.

He said: “The decision of the NJC dismissing the petitions were conveyed to the petitioners, namely Senator Smart Adeyemi and Mr Olarenwaju Suraju, chairman, Civil Society Network Against Corruption, in letters dated May 9th 2019 and signed by the Secretary of the National Judicial Council on behalf of the council.”

Justice Ikpeme is next in line to be the chief judge of Cross River State after the retirement of Justice Michael Edem in November this year.

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