…recommends appointment of 13 Judges
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri – Abuja
The National Judicial Council, NJC, on Thursday, said it has okayed the elevation of four new Justices to the Supreme Court bench.
The judicial body which is headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad, said it had at the end of a two-day meeting, resolved to recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari, names of the four Justices that were considered from a list of candidates that were presented its Interview Committee.
According to a statement by the Director of Information at the NJC, Mr. Soji Oye, those that were recommended for the apex court bench are Justice Adamu Jauro (North-East Zone), Justice Emmanuel A. Agim (South-South Zone), Justice C. Oseji (South-South Zone) and Justice Helen M. Ogunwumiju (South-West Zone).
All the promoted Justices hitherto served at various divisions of the Court of Appeal.
Remarkably, the Council dropped the names of both Justices Mohammed Garba and Abdul Aboki, who were reportedly on the initial list of candidates that were considered for elevation to the Supreme Court.
The duo served as Chairman and member of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal that upheld President Buhari’s re-election.
Alleged plot to promote them to the apex court had sparked protests from members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who insinuated that the CJN was under pressure to include them in the panel that will hear an appeal their presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, filed against the tribunal judgement that favoured President Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Meanwhile, the NJC said it also resolved to recommend to the Governors of Edo, Ondo, Akwa-Ibom, Kogi, Anambra, Taraba, Abia, Osun, Nasarawa and Jigawa States, the appointment of 18 other Judicial Officers.
While four of them were okayed as Heads of Court, 13 were cleared to be appointed as Judicial Officers for Federal and State High Courts, as well as and one Kadi for the Sharia Court of Appeal.
The Council equally disclosed that it empaneled Committees to investigate petitions that were lodged against eight Judges.
Other appointments that were okayed by the NJC are Hon. Justice Tsoho John Terhemba as Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice B. B. Kanyip as President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Esther Amenaghawon Edigin as Chief Judge of Edo State High Court of Justice, and Hon. Justice Eunice Aderonke Alade as the President, Customary Court of Appeal, Ondo State.
Those appointed as Judges of Osun State High Court of Justices were; Mathias Olusegun Agboola, Sikiru Adeposi Oke, Olorunfemi Judith Ajanaku, and Lawrence Olawale Arojo.
Similarly, the NJC appointed Bawa Sunday Baba, as a Judge of the Nasarawa State High Court of Justice, Nkeruwem Martin Obot, as a Judge of Akwa Ibom High Court of Justice, Yahaya Adamu, Kogi State High Court of Justice, Onyinye Samuel Anumonye and Victoria Toochukwu Nwoye, as Judges, Anambra State High Court of Justice, Goje Yahaya Hamman, Taraba State High Court of Justice, Benson Anya, Enyinnaya Okezie and Adiele Ogbonna SD Judges, Abia State High Court of Justice.
While Ibrahim Alhaji Ya’u was appointed as Kadi, Sharia Court of Appeal, Jigawa State.
“All the appointed Judges are expected to be sworn-in after the approval of the President and their respective State Governors and or confirmation by the Senate and State Houses of Assembly as the case may be.
“Council at the Meeting deliberated on the Report of its Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee and decided to empanel eight (8) Committees to investigate eight (8) 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, Hon. Justice Opeyemi Oke (Rtd), Chief Judge of Lagos State, 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, Hon. Justice E. N. Thompson, River State High Court, 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 (2) 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”, the statement added.