NJC to investigate supreme court justice, two others over alleged corruption
The National Judicial Commission (NJC), has disclosed plans to probe a supreme court justice, and two high court judges over alleged corruption.
This was contained in a statement yesterday by the NJC’s Director of Information, Mr. Soji Oye.
He said the judges were alleged to be corrupt in the discharge of their judicial functions.
The statement said the NJC, empowered by the 1999 Constitution to discipline erring judicial officers, has set up a committee to investigate the affected officials.
The probe, he said, was necessary to ascertain their guilt in the various petitions against them.
According to the statement, the NJC under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, has also recommended the compulsory retirement of two judges.
The affected judges are Theresa Uzokwe and Obisike Oji of the Abia State High Court of Justice.
The recommendation was directed to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.
He said: “Justice Theresa Uzokwe was recommended for compulsory retirement, following the findings of two investigative committees set up by the council.
“The committees investigated the petitions against her by the Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice of Abia State, Umeh Kalu (SAN).
He alleged illegal constitution and working with a parallel judicial service commission, rather than the one constituted by the state governor and confirmed by the House of Assembly.
The statement added that the NJC also issued stern warnings to Justices S. E. Aladetoyinbo and Olusola Ajibike Williams of the Federal Capital Territory, as well as Lagos State High Courts.
It stated that Justice Uzokwe was also found to have misconducted himself in a suit, wherein he delivered judgment in the sum of N825, 000 in favour of a litigant, but subsequently signed a garnishee order of N109, 612, 500.
“Justice Obisike Oji was earlier queried by the council for allowing himself to be sworn-in as acting Chief Judge, thereby colluding in, and aiding an unconstitutional process.
“His reply was unsatisfactory and the council recommended his compulsory retirement.
“The NJC reprimanded, seriously warned and placed on the Watch List, Justice S. E. Aladetoyinbo of the FCT High Court for impropriety in a case between U.L.O. Consultants Ltd vs BIL Construction Nigeria Ltd, sequel to a petition by one Uche Luke Okpuno.
“Council would have sanctioned the judge more severely, but had to take into account the fact that aspects of the case are appealable,” the statement said.
The NJC alsorecommended 60 judicial officers to 24 state governors for appointment as High Court judges, Sharia Cort Kadis and Customary Court of Appeal judges.
It warned Justice Olusola Ajibike Williams of the Lagos State High Court for grave errors of judgment in her level of involvement in a family business.
The NJC also considered various petitions written against 31judicial officers and resolved to empanel three investigative committees against the affected judicial officers.
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