The Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello and lawmakers at the state House on Friday lost the bid to remove the state Chief Judge when a High Court sitting in Koton-Karfe, ruled that they did not possess the power to remove the state’s Chief Judge.
According to the ruling, governor Bello, or the lawmakers cannot remove the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Nasir Ajanah, without recourse to the National Judicial Council (NJC).
In the ruling on Friday, the court also declared that the Chief Registrar of the State High Court held a statutory position as the accounting officer of the judiciary and was, therefore, not subject to the control and supervision of either the executive or the legislature.
The presiding judge, Justice Alaba Omolaye-Ajileye in his ruling, noted that it is the NJC established under section 153(I) of the constitution (as amended) that has the power to recommend to the governor, the removal of a judicial officer where a Chief Judge of a state is to be removed, for whatever reason.
He explained further that it is the NJC, and not the state House of Assembly that is empowered to make recommendations to the governor of a state under item 21(d) of the third schedule to the constitution.
The judge stated this in his judgment on the suit filed against the Assembly, the governor and three others by Justice Ajanah and the Chief Registrar, Yahya Adamu.
Meanwhile, Kogi State House of Assembly, Speaker of the House, Bello Abdullahi, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee, Governor Yahaya Bello and the state’s Attorney-General are named as respondents in the suit with number HC/KK. 11CV/2018.
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