NJC meets over sanctions, discipline of errant judges •Nomination closes for new council secretary

THE National Judicial Council (NJC) will today meet on the issue of discipline and sanctions for errant judges.

The second day of the two-day monthly meeting for September will not have in attendance, council members who are nominees of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) as is the practice.

Lawyers, who are council members, are not granted the privilege of sitting in judgment over judges when disciplinary issues are being considered.

But the council was, however, in full attendance at the commencement of the meeting on Wednesday, where appointment of two new justices for the Supreme Court was considered.

The two justices are to replace retiring Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mohammed Mahmud, who is exiting on November 10, 2016 and Justice Suleiman Galadima from Nasarawa State, who is retiring on October 10, 2016.

At the meeting of the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) penultimate Thursday, the lucky nominees, whose names were sent to the council, are said to be Justices Paul Galinje and Ahmad Belgore of the Court of Appeal.

While Galinje is expected to replace Mahmud who is from his North-East zone, Belgore, from Kwara, will take the North-Central zone slot being vacated by Galadima.

New judges to complement the National Industrial Court bench were also reportedly considered by the council on Wednesday.

Today, the issue of conflicting judgments in cases involving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leadership tussle and the controversial Abia governorship was reportedly uppermost on the council’s agenda.

Justice Mahmud recently disclosed that the cases and the affected judges were being probed.

While about five judges are reportedly involved in the PDP’s case, a couple of others were said to be under scrutiny over Abia tussle.

One of the judges involved in the PDP conflicting ruling saga, whose jurisdiction is outside Abuja, told the Nigerian Tribune in a telephone conversation that he was yet to be issued a query, though his name was reportedly mentioned in the ongoing probe.

With the imminent exit of the council secretary, Alhaji Halilu Danladi, the process of replacing him has also seen nomination closing effectively last Friday.

About five nominees are reportedly fully in the race to occupy the highest administrative position in the judiciary and second most important in the entire judicial sector after the CJN.

The holder is in charge of the entire judiciary budget and reports to the CJN.

The nominees in the race reportedly include the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Ahmed Saleh Gambo; Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Aliyu Ibrahim; secretary of the Body of Benchers, Mrs H Turaki and the secretary of the National Judicial Institute, Abba Maidama.

FJSC is expected to screen and interview them in the early days of October.