…Dismisses petitions against 12 judges, warns 3 judges against misconduct
The National Judicial Council NJC on Friday ordered Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Justice Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court and four others to resume their judicial duties with effect from June 7.
Other judges billed to resume on Wednesday are Justice Uwani Abba Aji of the Court of Appeal; Justice Hydiazira A. Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court, Justice Musa H. Kurya of the Federal High Court and Justice Agbadu James Fishim of National Industrial Court of Nigeria.
The Council had earlier on November 2, 2016 asked the judges to recuse themselves from duties on the request of the Attorney-General of the Federation pending the outcome of investigations against them.
The judges were arrested by the DSS on October 7 and 8, 2016 after a raid on their respective official apartment.
Out of all the judges arrested, only three have been charged to Court, namely; Justice N. S. Ngwuta, of the Supreme Court of Nigeria;Justice A. F. A. Ademola of the Federal High Court; and
Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, also of the Federal High Court.
The rest judges were not charged before any court till date.
However, out of the three judges charged before the court, only Justice Ademola was discharged and acquitted. The trials of Justices Ngwuta and Ajumogobia are still on going.
Justice Jude Okeke of an Abuja High Court had discharged and acquitted of the corruption charge slammed against the Justice Ademola, his wife,Olubowale and his family lawyer, Joe Agi SAN.
According to a statement issued by the spokesperson of the Council, Soji Oye, the counil recalled the judges at its 82nd meeting held in Abuja.
According to the statement, touncil also at the meeting, decided to warn Justice M. N. Esowe of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Justice Adolphus Enebeli of the High Court of Justice, Rivers State and Justice Bassey Frank Etuk of the Akwa-Ibom State High Court for different offences and place two of them on the “Watch List” of the Council.
The council’s decision to give Justice Esowe a serious warning and put her on its “Watch List” for one year, was sequel to a petition written against her by Mr. Jimmy Dirisu Aliu, alleging injustice for failing to deliver ruling in Suit No. NICN/ABJ/394/2013, until eight (8) months after the final address of counsel on Notice of Preliminary objection to his Suit.
The Council also decided to giveJustice Adolphus Enebeli serious warning and place him on its “Watch-List” for three years following its ‘findings’ that Justice Enebeli violated the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by granting ex-parte order in Suit No. PHC/983/2016, preventing the swearing-in of Victoria Wodo Nyeche as a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, when the claim in the Suit did not border on qualification or pre-election matter.
The Judge was said to have granted the ex-parte order on 19th April, 2016, three days to the swearing-in ceremony and adjourned the case to 21st April, 2016 when the ceremony had been concluded.
Justice Bassey Frank Etuk was warned following a petition written against him by Oro Youth Movement for failure to deliver judgment in Suit No. HOR/FHC/97/2014, a Fundamental Human Right case, after hearing it to conclusion and adjourned same for judgment to the 8th June, 2015.
The Judge then proceeded on National assignment as an Election Petition Tribunal member and did not deliver the judgment even after his return in November, 2015, when he transferred the case file to the Chief Judge for it to start de-novo.
The Suit was filed by two officers of the Movement to prevent the police from arresting them after they were reported for embezzling the sum of N20, 000.000.00 (Twenty Million Naira) from the account of the movement.
The Council also considered and dismissed petitions written against twelve other Judicial Officers.
The Council dismissed the petitions because three of the Petitioners withdrew their petitions against Justice T. U. Uzokwe, Chief Judge, Abia State, Justice Okoroafor of the Abia State High Court and Justice Judge Okeke of the FCT High Court of Justice.
Another petition written against Justice H. A. Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court was also dismissed for subjudice.
Other petitions written against Justices Adamu Abdu-Kafarati and O. E. Abang, both of the Federal High Court, Justices Mobolaji Ojo, and E. O. Osinuga, both of the Ogun State High Court, Justice B. A. Oke-Lawal of Lagos State High Court, HJustice A. A. Aderemi of Oyo State, Ntong F. Ntong of Akwa-Ibom State High Court and the second petition written against Justice Bassey Frank Etuk of Akwa-Ibom State High Court of Justice were found unmeritorious.