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NJC Tips Agim, Oseji, Others as Supreme Court Justices, Sets Up Committee to Probe 8 Judges

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the appointment of 22 judicial officers, with four as Justices of Supreme Court, four as heads of High Courts and 13 others as judges

The NJC also, at its meeting held between Tuesday and Wednesday, constituted a committee to investigate petitions pending against eight judges.

Its spokesman, Soji Oye said, in a statement on Thursday, that the NJC equally dismissed petitions written against 23 other judges, including former Chief Justices of the Federal High Court and Lagos State – Adamu Abdu Kafarati and Opeyemi Oke.

Among the four recommended for appointment as heads of courts is the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho (recommended for appointment as the substantive head of the court).

The 14 recommended for appointment as judges are to serve in the Federal and State High Courts, and Sharia Court of Appeal in Edo, Ondo, Akwa-Ibom, Kogi, Anambra, Taraba, Abia, Osun, Nasarawa and Jigawa states.

While Oye disclosed the identity of the judges against whom petitions were dismissed, he was silent on the names of the eight set down for investigation, on the grounds that such disclosure will negatively affect the people involved.

Those to be recommended for the Supreme Court are: Justice Adamu Jauro of the Court of Appeal (from North-East zone of the country); Justice Emmanuel A. Agim, of the Court Appeal, Abuja division (from South-South zone); Justice C. Oseji (from South-South zone), and Justice Helen M. Ogunwumiju (from South-West zone).

Those recommended as heads of courts, beside Tsoho for the Federal High Court, include Justice Benedict B. Kanyip (as the substantive President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria), Justice Esther Amenaghawon Edigin(as Chief Judge of Edo State and Justice Eunice Aderonke Alade (as Chief Judge of Ondo State.

The NJC recommended four lawyers – Mathias Olusegun Agboola, Sikiru Adeposi Oke, Olorunfemi Judith Ajanaku and Lawrence Olawale Arojo – as judges of Osun State Court; and one each for Nasarawa, Akwa-Ibom, Kogi and Taraba states High Courts.

They are: Bawa Sunday Baba (Nasarawa); Nkeruwem Martin Obot (AKwa-Ibom); Yahaya Adamu (Kogi) and Goje Yahaya Hamman (Taraba).

It recommended the appointment of three for Abia State High Court, two for Anambra High Court and one as Kadi for the Sharia Court of Appeal, Jigawa State.

They are: Benson Anya, Enyinnaya Okezie and Adiele Ogbonna (Abia); Onyinye Samuel Anumonye and Victoria Toochukwu Nwoye (Anambra) and Ibrahim Alhaji Ya’u (Jigawa).

Oye said all the appointed judicials are expected to be sworn-in after the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari (for the Supreme Court and Federal High Court) and the governors of the affected states, including the confirmation by the Senate and State Houses of Assembly as the case may be.

Part of the statement reads: “Council at the meeting deliberated on the report of its Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee and decided to empanel eight committees to investigate eight judicial officers from amongst the 35 petitions written against 37 judges of the Federal and State High Courts.

“The remaining petitions were summarily dismissed for obvious and manifest lack of merit, being subjudice, concerning administrative matters, or that such petitions were matters for appeal.

“The dismissed petitions were against Hon. Justice Adamu Abdu-kafarati, the immediate past Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justices Anduwi Chikere, H. I. O. Oshoma, Ayo Emmanuel all of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice J. D. Peters, National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Hon. Justice S. E. Aladetoyinbo (Rtd), of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory and Hon. Justice Opeyemi Oke (Rtd), Chief Judge of Lagos State.

“Also affected are petitions against Hon. Justices K. A. Jose, S. S. Ogunsanya, T. A. Oyekan-Abdullahi, O. O. Femi-Adeniyi and D. T. Okuwobi, all of the Lagos State High Court of Justice. Hon. Justice Mojisola Idayat Sule, Oyo State High Court, Hon. Justices R. D. Harriman, A. O. Omamogbo, Michael Nduka Obi, High Court of Justice, Delta State and Hon. Justice E. N. Thompson, River State High Court.

“Others are Hon. Justice Inaikende Eradiri, High Court, Bayelsa State, Hon. Justices N. B. Ukoha and B. C. Iheka of High Court of Justice, Imo State, Hon. Justices F. I. N. Ngwu, R. O. Odugu, Enugu State High Court, Hon. Justice Abdulkadir H. Suleiman, Bauchi State High Court and Hon. Justice Garba Abdulkadir of the Katsina State High Court of Justice.

“Council also approved the recommendation of two committees, earlier set-up to investigate Hon. Justice Winifred I. A. Effiong of Akwa-Ibom State High Court of Justice and Hon. Justice Bello Aliyu Gusau of High of Justice, Zamfara State, which absolved them of any judicial misconduct.”

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