From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The National Judicial Council, NJC, has recommended the appointment of 26 judicial officers and 18 Justices of the Court of Appeal.
Meanwhile, the Council which has constituted a panel to probe allegations of misconduct brought against a serving judge has equally approved the appointment of eight heads of court.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria CJN, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, who doubles as the Chairman of Council has issued strong warning letters to two Judges.
This is contained in a statement on Friday by its Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye.
The statement disclosed that the decisions of the Council were taken at its 94th Meeting that held from December 17 to 18, 2020.
It said the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee was considered, after which it resolved to recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Governors of Rivers, Nasarawa, Kogi, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Delta States, the 26 successful candidates for appointment as Justices of Court of Appeal and Heads of Court in Nigeria.
It gave the list of the successful 18 candidates it recommended for elevation to the Court of Appeal bench as;
“Hon. Justice Bature Isah Gafai, Hon. Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Sirajo, Hon. Justice Waziri Abdul-Azeez, Hon. Justice Yusuf Alhaji Bashir, Hon. Justice Usman A. Musale, Hon. Justice Jauro Ibrahim Wakili, Hon. Justice Abba Bello Mohammed, Hon. Grand Kadi Mohammed Danjuma, Hon. Justice Danlami Zama Senchi, Hon. Justice Mohammed Lawal Abubakar, Hon. Justice Hassan Muslim Sule, Hon. Justice Amadi Kenneth Ikechukwu, Hon. Justice Peter Oyinkenimiemi Affen, Hon. Justice Sybil Onyeji Nwaka Gbagi, Hon. Justice Olasumbo Olanrewaju Goodluck, Hon. Justice Banjoko Adebukunola Adeoti Ibironke, Hon. Justice Olabode Abimbola Adegbehingbe and Hon. Justice Bola Samuel Ademola.
While it recommended the appointment of Hon. Justice Salisu Garba Abdullahi as Chief Judge of the FCT okayed the appointment of Hon. Justice Simeon Chibuzor Amadi as Chief Judge of Rivers State.
Others are Hon. Justice Aisha Bashir Aliyu as Chief Judge of Nassarawa State, Hon. Justice Sunday Omeiza Otu as Chief Judge of Kogi State, Hon. Justice Umar Maigari Sadiq as Chief Judge of Jigawa State, Hon. Justice Ngene Anagu Elvis as Chief Judge of Ebonyi State, and Hon. Justice Theresa T. Obiajulu Ogochukwu Diai as Chief Judge of Delta State.
It further recommended the appointment of Hon. Justice Patience Onuwa Elumeze as President of Customary Court of Appeal, Delta State.
“All recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR and their respective State Governors and confirmation by the National Assembly and the respective States Houses of Assembly”, the statement added.
More so, the NJC said it had also at the meeting, deliberated on the Reports on 24 petitions written against 29 Judges.
It said the reports were presented by its Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee.
The Council said it decided to empanel an investigation Committee against one Judge and issued two strong warning letters against 2 Judges of the Federal and State High Courts.
It also resolved to set up a Medical Board to ascertain the health status of one Judge.
“Council decided to issue strong warning letters to Hon. Justices Mufutau Olokoba and M. A. Savage of the Lagos State High Court.
“Hon. Justice Olokoba was reprimanded and also put on the watch list of the Council for his failure to deliver judgement within the Constitutional period of 90 days and Hon. Justice Savage was reprimanded for not being in charge of his Court.
“The remaining petitions were summarily dismissed for obvious and manifest lack of merit, being subjudice, overtaken by events or that such petitions were matters for appeal.
“The dismissed petitions were against Hon. Justices Rita Nosakhare Pemu, Ita G. Mbaba and Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua all of Owerri Division of the Court of Appeal; Hon. Justices O. O. Oguntoyinbo and A. Lewis-Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice Anslem A. Nwaigwe, Chief Judge of Ebonyi State, Hon. Justices M. A. Abubakar, Binta Bawa Rijau of Niger State High Court, Hon. Justice Maurice Odey Eneji of Cross River State and Hon. Justice Kulu Aliyu, Chief Judge, Zamfara State.
“Other petitions dismissed were those written against Hon. Justice S. O. Falola of Osun State Judiciary; Hon. Justices C. C. Okaa, S. N. Odili and P. C. Obiorah, all of Anambra State High Court; Hon. Justice Chukwuemeka – Chikeka, Hon. Justice Ijeoma O. Agugua, Acting Chief Judge of Imo State; Hon. Justice Y. A. Adesanya of the Lagos State Judiciary and Hon. Justices Godwin O. Ollor and S. H. Aprioku of Rivers State High Court.
“Similarly, Council dismissed petitions written against Hon. Justices Hadiza H. Ali-Jos, E. B. Omotoso, I. Ityonyiman, W. O. Animasahun, A. A. Aderibigbe and Hon Kadi M. Y. Usman who served in two Election Petition Tribunals.
“Council also received notifications of the retirement of seventeen (17) Judicial Officers and notifications of death of three Judges from the Federal and State Judiciaries”, the statement added.