The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended 18 judges to President Muhammadu Buhari to be appointed as justices of the Court of Appeal.
NJC also approved the appointment of Chief Judges for eight states.
NJC Director of Information, Soji Oye, in a statement on Friday, said the appointment of the 26 judicial officers was approved at the 94th meeting of the body, held on December 17 and 18, 2020, presided over by Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice I. T. Muhammad.
The new Appeal Court judges are, Hon. Justice Bature Isah Gafai, Hon. Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Sirajo, Hon. Justice Waziri Abdul-Azeez, Hon. Justice Yusuf Alhaji Bashir, Hon. Justice Usman A. Musale, Hon. Justice Jauro Ibrahim Wakili, Hon. Justice Abba Bello Mohammed, Hon. Grand Kadi Mohammed Danjuma, Hon. Justice Danlami Zama Senchi, Hon. Justice Mohammed Lawal Abubakar, Hon. Justice Hassan Muslim Sule
Others are, Hon. Justice Amadi Kenneth Ikechukwu, Hon. Justice Peter Oyinkenimiemi Affen, Hon. Justice Sybil Onyeji Nwaka Gbagi, Hon. Justice Olasumbo Olanrewaju Goodluck, Hon. Justice Banjoko Adebukunola Adeoti Ibironke, Hon. Justice Olabode Abimbola Adegbehingbe and Hon. Justice Bola Samuel Ademola.
Also approved were the Chief Judge of the FCT, Hon. Justice Salisu Garba Abdullahi, Chief Judge of Rivers State, Hon. Justice Simeon Chibuzor Amadi, Chief Judge of Nasarawa State, Hon. Justice Aisha Bashir Aliyu, Chief Judge of Kogi State, Hon. Justice Sunday Omeiza Otu.
Chief Judge of Jigawa State, Hon. Justice Umar Maigari Sadiq, Cief Judge of Ebonyi State, Hon. Justice Ngene Anagu Elvis, Chief Judge of Delta State, Hon. Justice Theresa T. Obiajulu Ogochukwu Diai and the President, Customary Court of Appeal, Delta State, Hon. Justice Patience Onuwa Elumeze
“All recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR and their respective State Governors and confirmation by the National Assembly and the respective States Houses of Assembly,” the statement said.
Oye also disclosed that the Council deliberated on the reports of 24 petitions written against 29 Judges presented by its Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee and decided to empanel an investigation Committee against one Judge and issued two strong warning letters against two Judges of the Federal and State High Courts.
“Council decided to issue strong warning letters to Hon. Justices Mufutau Olokoba and M. A. Savage of the Lagos State High Court.
“Hon. Justice Olokoba was reprimanded and also put on the watch list of the Council for his failure to deliver judgement within the Constitutional period of 90 days and Hon. Justice Savage was reprimanded for not being in charge of his Court.
“The remaining petitions were summarily dismissed for obvious and manifest lack of merit, being subjudice, overtaken by events or that such petitions were matters for appeal.
The dismissed petitions were against Hon. Justices Rita Nosakhare Pemu, Ita G. Mbaba and Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua all of Owerri Division of the Court of Appeal; Hon. Justices O. O. Oguntoyinbo and A. Lewis-Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice Anslem A. Nwaigwe, Chief Judge of Ebonyi State, Hon. Justices M. A. Abubakar, Binta Bawa Rijau of Niger State High Court, Hon. Justice Maurice Odey Eneji of Cross River State and Hon. Justice Kulu Aliyu, Chief Judge, Zamfara State.
“Other petitions dismissed were those written against Hon. Justice S. O. Falola of Osun State Judiciary; Hon. Justices C. C. Okaa, S. N. Odili and P. C. Obiorah, all of Anambra State High Court; Hon. Justice Chukwuemeka – Chikeka, Hon. Justice Ijeoma O. Agugua, Acting Chief Judge of Imo State; Hon. Justice Y. A. Adesanya of the Lagos State Judiciary and Hon. Justices Godwin O. Ollor and S. H. Aprioku of Rivers State High Court.
“Similarly, Council dismissed petitions written against Hon. Justices Hadiza H. Ali-Jos, E. B. Omotoso, I. Ityonyiman, W. O. Animasahun, A. A. Aderibigbe and Hon Kadi M. Y. Usman who served in two Election Petition Tribunals.
“Council also received notifications of retirement of 17 Judicial Officers and notifications of death of three Judges from the Federal and State Judiciaries,” the statement added.