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Three judges face NJC probe over issuance of conflicting ex-parte orders

By Ameh Ochojila, Abuja
18 September 2021   |   4:16 am
The National Judicial Council (NJC) has set up a probe panel to investigate three High Court judges who issued conflicting ex-parte orders on the same subject matter.

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The National Judicial Council (NJC) has set up a probe panel to investigate three High Court judges who issued conflicting ex-parte orders on the same subject matter.

NJC directed the three judges who granted ex-parte orders over the same case in which they have coordinate jurisdiction to appear before the special investigation panel.

They are to face the panel and show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against them.

A statement issued in Abuja yesterday by NJC’s Director of Information, Mr. Soji Oye, confirmed that the council, at its 95th meeting held on September 15 and 16, 2021, constituted the probe panel, adding that it was done in line with the principles of fair hearing.

The names of the affected judges and areas of jurisdiction were however not disclosed in the statement.

The statement read in part: “Council resolved to set up a Medical Board in order to ascertain the health status of Hon. Justice Amina Yaroson of Kaduna State Customary Court of Appeal.

“Council also considered the reports of its Investigation Committee and decided to issue a warning letter to Hon. Justice Sobere Biambo of High Court of Rivers State for descending into the arena of conflict in a matrimonial Suit No: OHC/IMC/2018.

“Council at its plenary considered the reports of the two Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committees (PCAC) on the petitions written against 18 Judicial Officers and on the recommendation of the Committee.

“In the end, NJC issued a letter of advice to Hon. Justice Elias O. Abua of Cross River State High Court to in future be wary of granting an order staying the execution of judgment which appeared executory in nature as the one he granted in Suit No. HC/MSC/67/2019.

“Council, however, dismissed the petitions written against Hon. Justices Inyang Eden Ekwo and Ayo-Emmanuel of the Federal High Court; Justices O. O. Ogunjobi, S. B. A. Candide-Johnson and S. A. Onigbanjo of High Court of Lagos State; Hon. Justices Chiwendu Nwogu, S. C. Amadi and A. U. Kingsley Chuku, for either lacking in merit, subjudice or statute barred.

“Other petitions dismissed for the same reasons were those written against Hon. Justice I. K. Banu, Chief Judge of Adamawa; Hon. Justice A. L. Lagre, President, Customary Court of Appeal, Adamawa; Justice Felibus B. Andetur, Chief Judge, Taraba State and Hon. Justice Sunday Olorundahunsi of Ondo State High Court.

“The rest are those against Hon. Justice Nse Emeka Daniel of Akwa-Ibom State High Court and Justice H. T. D. Gwadah of Kaduna State High Court.

“The NJC, however, decided not to consider the petition written against Hon. Justice Ishaq Usman Bello as he had already retired from service.

“The plenary of the Council also considered the report of the Interview Committee and agreed to recommend 12 candidates as Heads of Court, 18 candidates as High Court Judges, six candidates as Kadis of Sharia Courts of Appeal and one candidate as Customary Court of Appeal Judge.

“The Notifications of retirement of 22 Judges of the Federal and State High Courts and Notifications of death of three Judges of States were also considered by the NJC plenary.”