-Appoints 60 for 24 states
A Supreme Court Justice (name withheld) is to be probed by the National Judicial Council (NJC) along with two Chief Judges of State High Court for alleged involvement in corrupt practices in the course of discharging their judicial functions.
Already, the NJC empowered by the 1999 Constitution to discipline erring judicial officers has set up a committee to investigate the apex court justice and the two others chief judges in order to ascertain their guilt in the various petitions against them.
These were contained in a press statement released at the Supreme Court in Abuja yesterday and signed by the NJC Director of Information, Mr. Soji Oye.
“The National Judicial Council under the Chairmanship of the Honourable Mr. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen (GCON) at its 85th meeting which was held on the 14th of March, 2018, recommended the compulsory retirement of Hon.
Mr Justice Theresa Uzokwe, Chief Judge, and Hon. Mr. Justice Obisike Oji of Abia State High Court of Justice.
“The Council also issued stern warnings to Justices S. E. Aladetoyinbo and Olusola Ajibike Williams of the Federal Capital Territory and Lagos State High Courts, respectively.
“Hon. Mr Justice Theresa Uzokwe was recommended for compulsory retirement, following the findings of two investigative committees set up by the Council.
The committees investigated petitions against her by Umeh Kalu, SAN, Attorney-General/Commissioner for Justice of Abia state, alleging illegal constitution and working with a parallel Judicial Service Commission instead of the one constituted by the state governor and confirmed by the House of Assembly.
” “Hon. Mr Justice Uzokwe was also found to have misconducted himself in Suit No. HU/131/2005, wherein he delivered judgment in the sum of N825, 000 (Eight Hundred and Twenty-fi ve Th ousand Naira) only in favor of a Litigant, but subsequently signed a garnishee order of N109, 612, 500 (One Hundred and Nine Million, Six Hundred and Twelve Thousand, Five Hundred Naira) only.
” “Hon. Mr Justice Obisike Oji was earlier queried by the Council for allowing himself to be sworn-in as acting Chief Judge, and thereby colluding in, and aiding an unconstitutional process.
His reply was unsatisfactory and the Council recommended his compulsory retirement.
” “The NJC reprimanded, seriously warned and placed on the Watch List Hon Justice S. E. Aladetoyinbo of the FCT High Court for impropriety in a case between U.L.O. Consultants Ltd v BIL Construction Nigeria Ltd, sequel to a petition by one Uche Luke Okpuno.
Council would have sanctioned the Judge more severely but had to take into account the fact that aspects of the case are appealable.
“Council at the meeting also considered various petitions written against thirty-one (31) Judicial Officers and resolved to empanel three Investigative Committees against one Justice of Supreme Court and two State Chief Judges.
“Council at the meeting also recommended sixty (60) Judicial Officers to governors of twenty-four (24) for appointment as High Court Judges, Sharia Court Kadis and Customary Court of Appeal Judges,” the statement said.