Misconduct: NJC stops elevation of two judges, sets up eight panels to probe others


The National Judicial Council (NJC) headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has stopped elevation of two high court judges–Justices Inyang E. Ekwo and G. B. Brikins, to a higher bench for a period of two years.

The Council also set up eight investigative panels to probe over two dozen serving judicial officers alleged to have engaged in varying judicial misconducts.  

In a statement by the NJC’s Director of Information, Soji Oye, the Council has also served warning letters to three judges over misconduct.

The affected judges are Justice Inyang E. Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Justice G. B. Brikins-Okolosi of the Delta State High Court and Justice Amina Shehu of Yobe State High Court.

Oye said the decision was taken at the Council’s 105th meeting held on 15 & 16 May 2024.

According to the statement,  Justice Ekwo is warned for abuse of his  discretionary power by wrongly granting an ex parte order in Juliet Ebere Nwadi Gbaka & 2 Ors V Seplat Energy Plc & 12 Ors while Justice Brikins-Okolosi was warned for failure to deliver judgment within stipulated period in Joseph Anene Okafor Vs Skye Bank after parties had filed and adopted their final written addresses.

The Council also cautioned Justice Amina Shehu of Yobe State High Court for issuing writ of possession conferring title on the defendant in Suit No YBS/HC/NNR/1cv/2020 when there was no subsisting judgment of any court to enable him issue the writ.

The statement also said that two of the affected three judges— Justices Inyang E. Ekwo and G. B. Brikins-Okolosi were barred from elevation to a higher bench for a period of two years.

Meanwhile, the Council has also considered reports of its two committees that filtered 35 petitions written against judges of the Federal and State High Courts.

The statement said that though some of the petition against various Judges were dismissed for want of merit, the Council has  empaneled eight committees to further investigate the petitions that were found meritorious by the committees.

The dismissed petitions were against the following judicial officers— Justices A. M. Liman, A. A. Okeke, D. E. Osiagor of the Federal High Court, Justices S. B. Belgore, Bello Kawu both of the High Court of Federal Capital Territory, Hon Justices O. A. Chijioke, A. E. Akeredolu and Kadi M. U. El-Mainari who sat on Election Petition Tribunal in Edo State, Justice Okey Paulinus Aneke, High Court Enugu State and Hon Justice C. Anya of Abia State.

Others are Justices M. A. Ikpambese and W. I. Kpochi both of Benue High Court, Justices T. E. Chukwuemeka Chikeka Chief Judge and B. C. Iheka of Imo State High Court, Justice Rose Godwin Soji of Nasarawa State High Court, Justice T. J. Yakubu, High Court Taraba State, High Court Justices W. N. Danagogo and Chinwendu Nworgu, Rivers State high court judge, Hon Justice C. C. Okaa, High Court Anambra State and Hon Justice Abdullahi Sulyman High Court, Kogi State.

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