Misconduct: NJC rejects judgment halting Justice Ademola’s probe, goes on appeal

Justice Ademola and wife

Reprieve appears to be far away from a sitting judge of the Abuja Federal high court, Justice Adeniyi Ademola over legal moves by stakeholders to boot him out of the bench for alleged engagement in professional misconduct.

This is because the National Judicial Council (NJC) which reinstated him shortly after the Federal Government failed to prove a prima facie case against him regarding allegation of corruption, has itself asked the Court of Appeal in Abuja to void a judgment delivered by Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja, restraining the council from proceeding with the investigation of the judge over alleged separate misconduct.

Justice Tsoho had on July 7 barred the NJC from inviting Justice Ademola for investigation over a petition filed against him by one Jenkins Duvie Giane Gwede in 2016, but was later withdrawn by the petitioner.

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The judge, who held that Justice Ademola should not be made to prove his innocence over a petition that was voluntarily withdrawn by the petitioner, said NJC’s insistence that Justice Ademola must appear before it was contrary to the provision of Section 36 (5 and 6) of the Constitution and unlawful.

But in a notice of appeal filed before the Court of Appeal, Abuja, on August 14, for itself and three members of the panel investigating the petition against Justice Ademola – Justice Umar Abdullahi (rtd), Justice Babatunde Adejumo and Mrs. Rakiya Ibrahim – the NJC raised 10 grounds of appeal and urged the court to set aside the judgment.

The council said Justice Tsoho erred in law by assuming jurisdiction in the case where the National Industrial Court has exclusive jurisdiction.

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It noted that Justice Ademola being a serving judge was under its supervision and regulation.

NJC argued that it was performing its supervisory and regulatory roles by seeking to investigate Justice Ademola on issues relating to performance of his official duties.