NJC Sacks Two Justices, Appoints 70 Judicial Officers

24 April, 2020

This was just as the NJC also appointed 70 Judicial Officers for the Federal and State Judiciaries.

The two affected judges are the Acting President of the Imo State Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Francis Abosi and Justice Aliyu Liman of the Bauchi State High Court.

These were contained in a statement by the Director of Information of the NJC, Mr. Soji Oye, who also said that the Council which is headed by the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Tanko Muhammad, recommended Justice Abosi for compulsory retirement over the falsification of his date of birth from 1950 to 1958.

The NJC noted that findings showed that Justice Abosi was supposed to have retired in November, 2015 when he clocked the mandatory retirement age of 65 years.

The Council therefore recommended for his compulsory retirement to Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and to also deduct the salaries he had earned from November, 2015 to date from his retirement benefits.

Similarly, Justice Liman of the Bauchi High Court was recommended to Governor Bala Mohammed for compulsory retirement pursuant to the findings by the NJC for his failure to deliver judgement in suit No BA/100/2010, between Abubakar Isa and Sheik Tahir Bauchi within the three months period stipulated by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The statement further states; “The Council viewed his failure to deliver judgement for nearly four years as a misconduct, contrary to Section 292 (1) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended and Rules 1.3 and 3.7 of the 2016 Revised Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The Council, in the exercise of its disciplinary powers under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, suspended the two judges from office pending the approval of the recommendation of the Council for his compulsory retirement to the their respective State Governors.”

The NJC newly appointed 70 judicial officers include the President of the Court of Appeal, Grand Kadis, President, Customary Court of Appeal and Justices of High Court of States and the Federal Capital Territory and Kadis of States Sharia Courts of Appeal.

Meanwhile, the Council has set up a 10-man committee to develop a template for court sittings in view of the lockdown as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

The committee according to the NJC is expected to come up with urgent practical strategic measures to be put in place to ensure that the Courts continue to function during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The committee is to be chaired by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour with Justices M. B. Dongban-Mensem, J. T. Tsoho, B. B. Kanyip, Ishaq Bello, O. A. Ojo and Kashim Zannah as members.

The committee also include Paul Usoro (SAN), A. B. Mahmoud (SAN) and D. D. Dodo (SAN).

The NJC further said; “The committee is to explore possible areas of collaboration between the Judiciary and the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, stakeholders in the Justice Administration and Development Partners in Justice Administration Sector.

“Any other measures that the Committee may deem fit in realising thees objectives and the Committee has fourteen (14) days to submit its Report.”