National Judicial Council (NJC), has begun to probe 15 judges for alleged misconduct and also two judges under the investigation are chief judges. Fifteen committees – one for each of the cases – have been constituted to handle the petitions.
Soji Oye the NJC’s Information Director, who confirmed the probe in a statement, did not name the judges.
Oye said the NJC constituted the committees at its 83rd meeting last week in Abuja after considering the reports of the two Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committees (PCAC) it set up to examine 46 petitions written against judges of federal and state courts.
The NJC also agreed to recommend Lagos lawyer Adesina Ogunlana to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC.) for allegedly using “uncouth” language in a petition he wrote against a former Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade.
Oye said the NJC treated as withdrawn, the petitions against Ondo State’s Acting Chief Judge, Justice O. O. Akeredolu and Justice J. T. Tsoho of the Federal High Court.
NJC, he said, issued two letters of advice to Hon. Mr. Justice M. A. Dada of the Lagos State High Court and Hon. Mr. Justice Chukwudi Charles Okaa of the Anambra State High Court for violation of extant laws in the course of their judicial duties
The statement added: “It (NJC) dismissed a total number of 31 petitions, 29 of which it found unmeritorious, and the remaining two written against Hon. Mr. Justice J. T. Tsoho of the Federal High Court and Hon. Mr. Justice O. O. Akeredolu, Acting Chief Judge of Ondo State, was withdrawn at the instance of the petitioners.
“Al-Sagr National Insurance Company that wrote against Hon. Mr. Justice Tsoho withdrew its petition since the Hon. Judge had delivered the ruling in this case.
“Chief Raheem A. Badmus who wrote against Hon. Justice Akeredolu also voluntarily withdrew his petition for personal reasons.
“Council treated the two petitions as withdrawn since it did not find anything in them sufficiently serious for further consideration as stipulated in Regulation 9 (1) of the Judicial Discipline Regulations.
“Council considered and found worthy of further investigation, the petition written by Azi 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.
“Council, however, decided not to constitute an investigative committee to look into the matter, because of 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. They 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.
“It also decided to issue two letters of advice to Hon. Mr. Justice M. A. Dada of the Lagos State High Court of Justice and Hon. Mr. Justice Chukwudi Charles Okaa of the Anambra State High Court for violation of extant laws in the course of their judicial duties based on the petition written against their Lordships by Dayo Adamolekun, Esq. & Ridwanulah Olanite, Esq. and Reverend F. U. Ekavhiare & Associates respectively.
“ Council agreed to report Adesina Ogunlana, Esq., to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (L.P.D.C.) for misconduct, for the use of uncouth language in a petition written to the National Judicial Council against Hon. Justice O. O. Atilade, the immediate past Chief Judge of Lagos State.
“Council welcomed as good development, a letter from Zamfara State Government approving the recommendation of the National Judicial Council for the compulsory removal of Hon. Mr. Justice Musa Ibrahim Anka from office for allegedly receiving a bribe of Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200, 000) from one Zubairu Abdumalik in order to deliver judgment in his favor.
“The recommendation was made to the Zamfara State Government by Council in 2011.”