Dismisses INEC’s call for probe of Judges over ex-parte orders
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA -The National Judicial Council, NJC, yesterday, debunked insinuations that it has suspended the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu and the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, from participating in its activities pending when the allegations of corruption raised against them are properly investigated to its logical conclusion.
The legal body, however, admitted that it had indeed mandated a five-man probe panel it constituted during its 5th emergency meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, to conduct a holistic investigation into the lingering feud between the duo vis-à-vis the staggering allegations of judicial misconduct levelled at them by various petitioners.
NJC equally disclosed that contrary to media reports, that it only gave the probe panel two months time frame within which it should complete the assignment and forward result of its findings to it for further action.
The judicial council went ahead to contend that in line with the provisions of the 1999 constitution, that it is the only body in the country that is vested with powers, functions and responsibilities to recommend the appointment, removal and to exercise disciplinary control over any erring Judicial Officer in the Federation.
In a statement yesterday by Secretary to the NJC, Mr. Danladi Halilu, the body revealed that it did not find any merit in the petition forwarded to it by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, and members of some political parties in respect of alleged abuse of ex-parte orders and conflicting orders by various courts of coordinate jurisdiction, adding that the petitioners failed to either back their allegations with cogent and verifiable evidence nor establish an incriminating nexus linking any Judge in the country with any form of judicial malpractice.”
According to the NJC, “contrary to the media publications, the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria and Honourable President of the Court of Appeal were not suspended as members of Council, neither was there any disagreement on the list of members of the panel presented.”