The National Judicial Council, NJC says it has constituted 15 Committees to investigate various allegations contained in the Petitions written against 15 Judicial Officers, including two Chief Judges. The names of the judges to be investigated were not mentioned.
According to Director of Information at NJC, Soji Oye said in a statement on Monday that this was part of the decisions taken by the NJC at the end of its 83rd Meeting chaired by the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Nkanu Samuel Onnoghen.
Oye said, “Council took the decision after considering the Reports of the two Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committees, on 46 Petitions written against Judicial Officers in the Federal and State Judiciaries.”
“It dismissed a total number of 31 petitions, 29 of which it found unmeritorious,and the remaining 2 written against Hon. Mr. Justice J. T. Tsoho of the Federal High Court and Hon. Mr. Justice O. O. Akeredolu, Acting Chief Judge of OndoState were withdrawn at the instance of the petitioners.
“Al-Sagr National Insurance Company who wrote against Hon. Mr. Justice Tsoho withdrew his petition since the Hon. Judge had delivered the Ruling in his case. Chief Raheem A. Badmus who wrote against Hon. Justice Akeredolu also voluntarily withdrew his petition for personal reasons.
Oye said Council treated the two petitions as withdrawn, since it did not find anything in them sufficiently serious for further consideration as stipulated in Regulation 9 (1) of the Judicial Discipline Regulations.
But he said the Council considered and found worthy of further investigation, the petition written byAzi A. Phillip on behalf of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Plateau State Chapter, accusing Hon. Justice P. D. Damulak, the immediate past Chief Judge of Plateau State of bias, for failure to make his judgment in Suit No.PLD/J/236/16 delivered on 4th November, 2016 available to him till the time he wrote the petition.
Also, according to Oye, the Council decided not to constitute an Investigative Committee to look into the matter, because the Hon. Chief Judge had already retired from service and therefore no longer in the employment of the National Judicial Council.
It also considered and dismissed petitions written against two other Judicial Officers for lack of merit.
The Judges are Hon.Justice Mr. L. T. C. Eruba – High Court of Justice, Abia State and Hon.Grand Kadi Abdullahi Waiya – Sharia’h Court of Appeal, Kano State.