NJC suspends Justice Goji over rejection of posting, other misconducts
Sets up committee to probe judges, appoints 21 judicial officers
The National Judicial Council (NJC) has suspended Justice Michael Goji of the High Court of Adamawa State from office and recommended his compulsory retirement.The decision, which was reached yesterday at its 86th meeting, followed Goji’s refusal to go on transfer to the Mubi Judicial Division of the State High Court since July last year.He was suspended and recommended for retirement to Governor Bindo Jibrilla following the advice of the State Judicial Service Commission to the NJC after its findings on the allegations of misconduct leveled against him.
The Adamawa State Judicial State Commission, investigated the conduct of the judge, following the directive of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, after receiving complains of his misconduct from the Adamawa State Chief Judge.Besides the recommendation for retirement, the council also directed him to refund all salaries he had received from July 2017, till date, failing which the Adamawa State Government would deduct the amount from any entitlement due to him.
Thereafter, it would remit same to the NJC, which pays salaries of all judicial officers in the country.A statement by the director of information, NJC, Soji Oye, noted that the council also considered reports of various probe panels at the end of which it dismissed petitions written against Justice Paul Adamu Galinje of the Supreme Court, Chief Judge of Jigawa State, Justice Aminu Sabo Ringim and Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Peter Umeadi.
The petition against Galinje was dismissed, following its withdrawal by Yaro Abarshi and John Yobi Yarafa, who had alleged that he (Galinje) interfered in a chieftaincy tussle in Taraba State, while that against Ringim was dismissed following its withdrawal by Dr. Jamil Gwamna.
Ringim allegedly ordered the arrest, assault, and detention of staff of Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO), when they disconnected the electricity supply to the State High Court and his residence for non-payment of bills. But the panel found that the petitioner could not substantiate the claim. “Council did not find any reason to further investigate Galinje and Ringim after the withdrawals,” the statement reads.
Council also considered the petitions against 25 judicial officers by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after which it resolved to set up a seven-man committee to probe the allegations.Petitions against various judges were dismissed for lack of establishment of misconduct, being subjudice or that such petitions were matters for appeal.
The dismissed petitions were against Justices A. I. Chikere, John T. Tsoho, Emeka Nwite and Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Justice Adetokunbo Banjoko of FCT High Court, Chief Judge Kaduna State, Justice Taminu Zailani, Justice M. A. Adeigbe of the High Court, Osun State (who had already retired from the Bench), and Justice E. N. Ogbuiji of the High Court, Rivers State.
Council at the meeting also recommended 21 Judges for appointment as Chief Judges, Grand Kadi, High Court Judges, Sharia Court Kadis, President, Customary Court of Appeal and one member for the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
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