The National Judicial Council (NJC) has empaneled eight committees to investigate petitions against eight judges out of 35 petitions written against 37 judges.
The council dismissed the petitions against the rest of the other judges in the number.
In a statement on Thursday, NJC’s spokesman, Soji Oye said that the development followed the council’s deliberations on the report of its Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee on 35 petitions written against 37 judges of the Federal and State High Courts.
The deliberation, he said, was at the council’s meeting held between Tuesday and Wednesday.
Oye mentioned the identity of the judges against whom petitions were dismissed, but kept mute on the names of the eight set down for investigation, on the grounds that disclosing their names would negatively affect the people involved.
He said, “Council at the meeting deliberated on the report of its Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee and decided to empanel eight committees to investigate eight judicial officers from amongst the 35 petitions written against 37 judges of the Federal and State High Courts.
“The remaining petitions were summarily dismissed for obvious and manifest lack of merit, being subjudice, concerning administrative matters, or that such petitions were matters for appeal.
“The dismissed petitions were against Hon. Justice Adamu Abdu-kafarati, the immediate past Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justices Anduwi Chikere, H. I. O. Oshoma, Ayo Emmanuel all of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice J. D. Peters, National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Hon. Justice S. E. Aladetoyinbo (Rtd), of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory and Hon. Justice Opeyemi Oke (Rtd), Chief Judge of Lagos State.
“Also affected are petitions against Hon. Justices K. A. Jose, S. S. Ogunsanya, T. A. Oyekan-Abdullahi, O. O. Femi-Adeniyi and D. T. Okuwobi, all of the Lagos State High Court of Justice. Hon. Justice Mojisola Idayat Sule, Oyo State High Court, Hon. Justices R. D. Harriman, A. O. Omamogbo, Michael Nduka Obi, High Court of Justice, Delta State and Hon. Justice E. N. Thompson, River State High Court.
“Others are Hon. Justice Inaikende Eradiri, High Court, Bayelsa State, Hon. Justices N. B. Ukoha and B. C. Iheka of High Court of Justice, Imo State, Hon. Justices F. I. N. Ngwu, R. O. Odugu, Enugu State High Court, Hon. Justice Abdulkadir H. Suleiman, Bauchi State High Court and Hon. Justice Garba Abdulkadir of the Katsina State High Court of Justice.
“Council also approved the recommendation of two committees, earlier set-up to investigate Hon. Justice Winifred I. A. Effiong of Akwa-Ibom State High Court of Justice and Hon. Justice Bello Aliyu Gusau of High of Justice, Zamfara State, which absolved them of any judicial misconduct.”
Oye also said that the NJC at the meeting also recommended four judicial officers to be appointed as justices of the Supreme Court, four as heads of High Courts, 13 for Federal, State High Courts and one Kadi, for Sharia Court of Appeal.
The new Supreme Court justices include Justice Adamu Jauro, from the North-East Zone; Justice Emmanuel A. Agim, South-South Zone; Justice C. Oseji, South-South Zone; and Justice Helen M. Ogunwumiju from the South-West Zone.
Among the four recommended for appointment as heads of courts is the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho (recommended for appointment as the substantive head of the court).
Other were Justice Benedict B. Kanyip (as the substantive President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria), Justice Esther Amenaghawon Edigin(as Chief Judge of Edo State and Justice Eunice Aderonke Alade (as Chief Judge of Ondo State.
The 14 recommended for appointment as judges are to serve in the Federal and State High Courts, and Sharia Court of Appeal in Edo, Ondo, Akwa-Ibom, Kogi, Anambra, Taraba, Abia, Osun, Nasarawa and Jigawa states.
The NJC recommended four lawyers – Mathias Olusegun Agboola, Sikiru Adeposi Oke, Olorunfemi Judith Ajanaku and Lawrence Olawale Arojo – as judges of Osun State Court; and one each for Nasarawa, Akwa-Ibom, Kogi and Taraba states High Courts.
They are: Bawa Sunday Baba (Nasarawa); Nkeruwem Martin Obot (AKwa-Ibom); Yahaya Adamu (Kogi) and Goje Yahaya Hamman (Taraba).
It recommended the appointment of three for Abia State High Court, two for Anambra High Court and one as Kadi for the Sharia Court of Appeal, Jigawa State.
They are: Benson Anya, Enyinnaya Okezie and Adiele Ogbonna (Abia); Onyinye Samuel Anumonye and Victoria Toochukwu Nwoye (Anambra) and Ibrahim Alhaji Ya’u (Jigawa).
According to Oye, all the appointed judicials are expected to be sworn-in after the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari (for the Supreme Court and Federal High Court) and the governors of the affected states, including the confirmation by the Senate and State Houses of Assembly as the case may be.
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