Recall Of Judges: Lawyers Back NJC

Recall Of Judges: Lawyers Back NJC
  • PublishedJune 5, 2017

Over the weekend the National Judicial Council, NJC  recalled some indicted judges. Senior lawyers have lent their support just as Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, Professor Itse Sagay frowned at the development, saying “it is absolutely wrong to recall a judge whose case is on-going.”

The National Judicial Council, NJC, headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, recalled  the judges at the end of its 82nd meeting on June 1, a development that has continued to elicit reactions

According to the NJC, the recalled jurists include Justice John Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court, Justice Uwani Abba Aji of the Court of Appeal; Justice Hydiazira A. Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court; Justice A. F. A. Ademola of the Federal High Court who has been discharged and acquitted; Justice Musa H. Kurya of the Federal High Court; and Justice Agbadu James Fishim of National Industrial Court of Nigeria.

It will be recalled that the NJC had said its decision was predicated on the fact  that of the eight judges asked to withdraw from their judicial duties on the request of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, pending the conclusion of investigations on corruption allegations against them, only three had been charged to court. NJC, in a statement by its Director of Information, Mr. Soji Oye, weekend, asked various Heads of Court to direct the six suspended Judges to resume their judicial duties with effect from June 7, “as there are already backlog of cases in their various court for the past eight months.” Reacting yesterday, chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, Professor Itse, SAN,  said:

“It is absolutely wrong to recall a judge whose case is ongoing. ‘’It is wrong for the NJC to have recalled that judge. That is just my view. It is wrong because the case is ongoing. The matter has been filed and we don’t know what the outcome is going to be. If the outcome is negative for the judge, then he has to leave again, so it does not make sense.

“Second, with regards to the other judges who were not charged, that is charges were not brought against them and that is why they were recalled, on principle, there is nothing wrong with that. But I want to ask a question, before recalling them, did the NJC consult with the anti-corruption agencies and the DSS, that arrested them in the first place?

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