The Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC) has constituted a 10-member panel to come up with measures to ensure the functioning of courts despite the lockdown and COVID-19 challenges.
Members of the committee include Justices Olabode Rhodes-Vivour (Supreme Court) as Chairman, Monica Dongban-Mensem (Court of Appeal), John Tsoho (Federal High Court), B.B Kanyip (National Industrial Court), Ishaq Bello (FCT High Court), and Kashim Zannah (Borno High Court). Others include Justice O.A. Ojo, and Senior Advocates of Nigeria Paul Usoro, Abubakar Mahmoud, and Damian Dodo.
A statement by signed by Soji Oye, NJC’s Director of Information, on Friday, revealed that the decision was reached at the NJC’s 9th meeting, which held via teleconferencing on April 22 and 23. He said the panel’s terms of reference would be to come up with guidelines or templates for implementation within 14 days
. Others include: “to explore areas of possible collaboration between the judiciary and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, stakeholders in the Administration and Development Partners in Justice Administration sector; and any other measures that the committee may deem fit releasing these objectives.” UAE 44th National Day – Union Flag 00:00 % Buffered 00:50 / 00:52 Copy video url Play / Pause Mute / Unmute Report a problem Language Mox Player He revealed that the NJC also recommended the compulsory retirement of Justice Francis Chukwuma Abosi, Acting President, Customary Court of Appeal of Imo State and Justice Aliyu Musa Liman of Bauchi State High Court.
“Hon. Justice Francis Chukwuma Abosi was recommended for compulsory retirement following the falsification of his date birth from 1950 to 1958. Findings showed that he was supposed to have retired in November 2015 when he clocked the mandatory retirement age of 65 year,” the statement read. “Council decided to recommend for his compulsory retirement to Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and to also deduct the salaries he had earned from November 2015 to date from his retirement benefit,” it added.
The NJC said Justice Liman was recommended to Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State for compulsory retirement for failing to deliver judgment in suit number BA/100/2010 between Abubakar Isa and Sheik Tahir Usman Bauchi within the three months stipulated by the Nigerian Constitution of 1999. “Council viewed His Lordship’s failure to deliver judgment for nearly four years as a misconduct, contrary to Section 292(1) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended and Rules 1.3 and 3.7 of the 2016 Revised Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” NJC said.
The NJC said in the exercise of its disciplinary powers under the constitution it has suspended both Justices Abosi and Liman pending the approval of the recommendation of its recommendation for their compulsory retirements by their respective governors.
The NJC also recommended Apeiyi Becon Clement, Ifeanyi Egwasi, Nwafor Orizu, Godwin Nkemjika Chukwukere, Akpode Haggai Ukuku, Chief Emefo Etudo, Osamwudiamen Obarogie and B.S. Onuegbu to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) “for acts unbecoming of a legal practitioner ranging from unruly behaviour, walking out of court in the cause of proceedings, to submission of false documents to the court.”
The NJC said it recommended the names of 70 judicial officers for appointment as President Court of Appeal, Grand Khadis, President Customary Court of Appeal, and judges of High Courts of states and FCT, and Kadis of states Sharia Courts of Appeal.