National Judicial Council sanctions two judges, announces new appointments

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has barred two judges, Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court and Justice Godwin Brikins-Okolosi of the Delta State High Court from elevation to the Court of Appeal over breaches of judicial process.

Penpushing reports that the council took the decisions at its 105th meeting held on 15 and 16 May. The meeting was presided by the outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and chairman of the council, where it also announced new judicial appointments and launching new probe of some judges.

The regulatory body explained that Ekwo was found culpable of abuse of discretionary power of a judge by wrongly granting an ex-parte order, and therefore barred him from being promoted to the appellate court for two years

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Penpushing further reports that the case in question, is with reference number  FHC/ABJ/C/626/2023, which was  filed by Juliet Ebere Nwadi Gbaka and two others against Seplat Energy Plc and 12 orders, while media report has it that the embattled judge issued the controversial ex-parte order on May 11,2023 suspending the Managing Director of Seplat, Chairman of the company, and other members of the company’s board from office, and in May 2023, he Court of Appeal in Abuja reportedly reversed the order.

The commission on Brikins-Okolosi, explained that he was sanctioned for failure to deliver judgement within stipulated period of three months, after parties had filed and adopted their final written addresses, and was equally barred from promotion for three years.

Penpushing also reports that the National Judicial Commission (NJC) said he failed to deliver judgement within stipulated period in Joseph Anene Okafor Vs Skye Bank, a suit marked A/94/2010, after parties had filed and adopted their final written addresses, recalling that it had earlier issue the duo separate warning letters.

The council in similar vein, cautioned Amina Shehu, a judge of the Yobe State High Court for issuing Writ of Possession Conferring Title on the defendant when there was no subsisting judgement of any court to enable” her to issue the writ.

Penpushing reports that the council at the meeting said it considered two reports of its two Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committees that filtered 35 petitions written against judges of the Federal and State High Courts, and decided to empanel eight committees to further investigate the petitions that were found meritorious by the committees.

The complaints against various judges were, however, dismissed for sundry reasons, including lack of merit, evidence of misconduct, with some of them also dismissed for being subjudice or that they were matters that could be appealed.

Penpushing further reports that the dismissed petitions were against – Justices A. M. Liman, A. A. Okeke, D. E. Osiagor of the Federal High Court; Justices S. B. Belgore, Bello Kawu (both of the High Court of Federal Capital Territory), Justices O. A. Chijioke, A. E. Akeredolu and Kadi M. U. El-Mainari who sat on Election Petition Tribunal in Edo State; Justice Okey Paulinus Aneke, High Court Enugu State, and Justice C. Anya of Abia State.

The others are Justices M. A. Ikpambese and W. I. Kpochi (both of Benue High Court), Justices T. E. Chukwuemeka Chikeka Chief Judge and B. C. Iheka of Imo State High Court, Justice Rose Godwin Soji of Nasarawa State High Court, Justice T. J. Yakubu, High Court Taraba State, Justices W. N. Danagogo and Chinwendu Nworgu, High Court Rivers State, Justice C. C. Okaa, High Court Anambra State and Justice Abdullahi Sulyman High Court, Kogi State.

Penpushing also reports that the council deliberated on the notification of retirements of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Mr Ariwoola, and two other judicial officers, and notification of death of three judges of the federal and state court.

The National Judicial Commission (NJC) in similar vein in a statement disclosed that it has set up eight panels to probe some petitions written some judges, in a fresh allegation but did not give the names and other details of the affected judges.

Penpushing reports that the commission at the meeting considered the recommendation of its Interview Committee on Appointment of Judicial Officers of all superior courts of Record in Nigeria and resolved to recommend 86 Judicial Officers for appointment to the Court of Appeal, High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Sharia Courts of Appeal and Customary Courts of Appeal of States in Nigeria.

The judicial officers include Hon. Justice Kwahar Polycarp Terna, Hon. Justice Ruqayat Oremei Ayoola, Hon. Justice Eleojo Eneche, Hon. Justice Asma’u Akanbi-Yusuf, Hon. Justice Abdullahi Muhammad Liman, Hon. Justice Abdu Dogo, Hon. Justice Fadawu Umaru, Hon. Justice Ishaq Mohammed Sani,Hon. Justice Zainab Bage Abubakar and Hon. Justice Abdulazeez M. Anka

Penpushing further reports that others are Hon. Justice Nnamdi Okwy Dimgba, Hon. Justice Nwoye Victoria Tochukwu, Hon. Justice Nwabunkeonye Onwosi, Hon. Justice Okorowo Donatus Uwaezuoke, Hon. Justice Ngozika Uwazurunonye Okaisabor, Hon. Justice Ntong Festus Ntong, Hon. Justice Nehizena Idemudia Afolabi, Hon. Justice Nyesom-Wike Eberechi Suzzette, Hon. Justice Lateef Babajide Lawal-Akapo and Hon. Justice Akinyemi Abiodun Azeem

The others are Hon. Justice Oyewumi Oyejoju Oyebiola, Hon. Justice Olukayode Adegbola Adeniyi, as well as judges Ademuyiwa Olakunle Oyeyipo, Bamodu Odunayo Olutomi, Anumaenwe Godwin Iheabunike, Odo Celestine Obinna,Hauwa Lawal Gummi, Abdurahman Usman, Buetnaan Mandy Bassi, Sarah Benjamin Inesu Avoh, Maryan Iye Yusuf and Ariwoola Oluwakemi Victoria

Penpushing also reports that the list include Lesley Nkesi Belema Wike,Munirat Ibrahim Tanko,Akowundu Cletus Ndubuisi,Uchenna Mary Njoku, Chibuogwu Ojiugo Chukwumaeze, Ononogbo Chidi Linus, Adaego Peace Nosiri, Emeka Ozoma Orafu, Mathew Chinedu Ijezie, Amin Umar Ilelah, Aliyu Bin Idris and Ahmed Shuaibu Ningi

The others include Shafa’u Ladan Yusuf, Abdussalam Idris Waziri, Kawu A. Yerima,Hamidu Audu, Bibonga Jeniffer Naum,  Joel Daniel Ubandoma, Sunmonu Tunde Bashiru,Azeez Fimisola Augusta, Alebiosu Olawale Lawal, Adewale Russel Musiliu,Popoola Oluwatosin Ajose and Anjorin-Ajose Tanimola Abdulwaheed

Penpushing reports that other on the list are Muyideen Abdul-Raheem Tejumade, George Alfred Akingbola, Balogun Adegboyega Ganiu, Shonubi Adenike Kudirat, Badejo-Okusanya Yewande Jokotola, Layinka Oyeladun Amope, Ojuromi Nalirat Olayinka Oluwatosin, Ajesola Joseph Sunday and  Ojoma Rachael Haruna.

The list also contained names of Kadiri Badama, Ezema Beatrice Ada, Mohammad El-Usman, Nilfa Abdullahi Gambo, Ishaku Magaji, Abdurrahman Hassan Sabo, Bello Mohammed Sambowal, Muhyiddeen Mohammed, Mahmoud Idris Shehu Tiyin, Muhammad Muhammad Bello, Okino Isah Saidu and Yakubu Adavenge Abbas

Penpushing further reports that others include Shaibu Ridwan Aliyu, Idris Alhaji Abdullahi, Mukhtar Shuaibu Adam, Everyman Ezenna Eleanya, Ofoha Sylvesta Uchenna, Ibeh Rosemond Oluchi, Esther Tata, Benjamin Samuila Bawage and Maryann Oziohu Otaru

Meanwhile, a statement by Director, Information of the commission Soji Oye said all recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after the approval of the National Judicial Commission (NJC) recommendations to the President and their respective State Governors.

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