The Presidency has faulted the decision of the National Judicial Council (NJC) directing Justice Adeniyi Ademola to resume his judicial duties with effect from June 7, 2017.
The NJC had, last Saturday directed Justice Ademola and five other Judges placed under suspension after the raid of their house by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), in a string operations resume work to go ahead with the backlog of cases in his court for the past eight months.
The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory had, on April 5, 2017 discharged and acquitted Justice Ademola of all criminal allegations levelled against him by the Federal Government and on the directive of the NJC, Justice Ademola and the other five Judges resumed their official duties last Wednesday.
But, the Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla said in a statement on Wednesday that it was too hasty to rescind its previous decision to suspend some Judges that were standing trials and or under investigation by law enforcement agencies.
Obono-Obla said, “I want to debunk the false impression created in some sections of the media that the NJC was not aware or that there was no appeal filed by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) against the ruling of Justice Jude Okeke of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja dated the 5th April, 2017 in Charge No. CR/21/2016 between Federal Republic of Nigeria versus Adeniyi Francis Adetokunbo Ademola and two others which discharged and acquitted the defendants. Nothing can be further from the truth.”
“Indeed, the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation filed notices of appeal against the ruling of Justice Jude Okeke of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja over his ruling discharging and acquitting the three defendants on the 7th April, 2017.”
“Accordingly, the Court of Appeal pursuant to Order 8 Rule 2 (a) of the Court of Appeal Rules has invited Counsel to the Appellant (the Federal Republic of Nigeria) and the Respondents to attend Court on the 6th June 2017 to reconcile documents for record of appeal.”
“I therefore state without fear of contradiction that the appeal against the ruling of Honourable Justice Jude Okeke of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja discharging and acquitting the defendants Charge No. CR/21/2016 between Federal Republic of Nigeria versus Adeniyi Francis Adetokunbo Ademola and two others is pending before the Court of Appeal”, the statement said.