NJC appoints 26 judicial officers, 18 Appeal Court justices, 8 heads of court, issues warnings to two judges

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has approved the appointment 26 judicial officers, 18 Appeal Court justices and eight heads of court.

A statement by the Director if Information of the NJC, Soji Oye, on Friday said the council, under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria ((CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, made the appointments at its 94th meeting held on 17 to 18 December, 2020.

The NJC, according Soji Oye, has forwarded the names of successful candidates for the appointments to President Muhammadu Buhari and the governors of Rivers, Nasarawa, Kogi, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Delta states.

Those appointed as Justices of the Court of Appeal, the statement said, are Justices Bature Isah Gafai, Muhammad Ibrahim Sirajo, Waziri Abdul-Azeez, Yusuf Alhaji Bashir, Usman Musale, Jauro Ibrahim Wakili and Abba Bello Mohammed.

Others are Grand Kadi Mohammed Danjuma, Justices Danlami Zama Senchi, Mohammed Lawal Abubakar, Hassan Muslim Sule, Amadi Kenneth Ikechukwu, Peter Oyinkenimiemi Affen, Sybil Onyeji Nwaka Gbagi, Olasumbo Olanrewaju Goodluck, Banjoko Adebukunola Adeoti Ibironke, Olabode Abimbola Adegbehingbe and Bola Samuel Ademola.

The council also approved the appointment of Justice Salisu Garba Abdullahi as the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory and Justices Simeon Chibuzor Amadi, Aisha Bashir Aliyu, Sunday Omeiza Otu, Umar Maigari Sadiq, Ngene Anagu Elvis and Theresa Ogochukwu Diai as Chief Judges of Rivers, Nasarawa, Kogi, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Delta state respectively.

The council also appointed Justice Patience Onuwa Elumeze as President of the Customary Court of Delta State and added that all the recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by the President Buhari and their respective state governors and confirmation by the National Assembly and the respective stats Houses of Assembly.

The NJC, Oye said in the statement, also deliberated on the reports on 24 petitions against 29 judges and empanelled an investigation committee against one judge and issued two warning letters against two 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 and issued warning letters to Justices Mufutau Olokoba and M. A. Savage of the Lagos State High Court, while Justice Olokoba was reprimanded and also put on the watch list of the council for his alleged failure to deliver judgment within the constitutional period of 90 days

Justice Savage was also reprimanded for not being in charge of his court, while the remaining petitions were summarily dismissed for obvious and manifest lack of merit, being sub judice, overtaken by events or that such petitions were matters for appeal.

The dismissed petitions were against Justices Rita Nosakhare Pemu, Ita Mbaba and Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua all of Owerri Division of the Court of Appeal; Justices O. O. Oguntoyinbo and A. Lewis-Allagoa of the Federal High Court; Justice Anslem A. Nwaigwe, Chief Judge of Ebonyi State; Justices M. A. Abubakar, Binta Bawa Rijau of Niger State High Court; Justice Maurice Odey Eneji of Cross River State and Justice Kulu Aliyu, Chief Judge, Zamfara State.

Other petitions dismissed were those written against Justice S. O. Falola of Osun State Judiciary; Justices C. C. Okaa, S. N. Odili and P. C. Obiorah, all of Anambra State High Court; Justice Chukwuemeka–Chikeka, Justice Ijeoma O. Agugua, acting Chief Judge of Imo State; Justice Y. A. Adesanya of the Lagos State Judiciary and Justices Godwin O. Ollor and S. H. Aprioku of Rivers State High Court.

Similarly, the council dismissed petitions written against Justices Hadiza H. Ali-Jos, E. B. Omotoso, I. Ityonyiman, W. O. Animasahun, A. A. Aderibigbe and Kadi M. Y. Usman who served in two election petition tribunals.

Oye said the council also received notifications of retirement of 17 judicial officers and notifications of death of three judges from the federal and state judiciaries.

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