NJC convenes another emergency meeting to bid CJN bye, decide arrested judges’ fate

PIC. 21. A CROSS SECTION OF THE BODY OF BENCHERS AT THE CALL TO THE BAR OF NEW WIGS IN ABUJA IN ABUJA ON TUESDAY (20/11/12).

The National Judicial Council (NJC) is scheduled hold another emergency meeting this week in Abuja to bid the outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed bye as he prepares to bow out of the bench on November 10, this year.

Justice Mahmud will clock the mandatory retirement age of 70 years on November 10 and will bow out of the Supreme Court bench willy-nilly.

NJC, a creation of section 153 of the 1999 constitution is statutorily headed by the incumbent Chief Justice of Nigeria whose chairmanship of the all-important regulatory body expires with his tenure.

The meeting to be convened this week Wednesday and Thursday will be the last that the outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud would preside over as the number one judicial officer in the country.

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It was also learnt on Sunday that the council would review major developments in the cases of the arrested judges and decide whether or not the judges’ cases fall in the category of those whose new power of interim suspension granted it by the new judicial policy could be slammed pending conclusion of their investigation.

It was learnt that he wanted the council to democratically take a final decision on the matter and perhaps hands down his hand-over note to the next chairman whose appointment is awaiting the final endorsement of Mr president.

It would be recalled that the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) met with the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmoud and other justices of the court in his office last week.

At the meeting, the CJN had lashed out at the NBA over its suggestion that the NJC should direct the affected judges to proceed on compulsory leave of absence pending conclusion of investigation into their cases.

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The CJN was said to be angry with NBA simply because its President and few other members of the association were part of the NJC meeting where it was decided that the council should follow procedure rather than kowtowing to the desires of the executive or the legislature in the handling of the arrested judges’ cases.

They however resolved their differences and agreed on the way forward.

At the meeting with the CJN, it was disclosed that the affected justices of the Supreme Court had been removed from the panels hearing pending cases in court while they were as well not considered to sit on fresh cases.

Their fate would be sealed in the meeting scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, this week