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NJC dismisses petitions against Justice Mary Odili, 25 others



The National Judicial Council (NJC) has dismissed petitions written against a retired Supreme Court Justice, Mary Odili and 25 other Judicial officers who were accused of professional misconduct in the discharge of their duties.

This is contained in a statement issued by NJC Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye on Friday in Abuja.

The council explained that the petition against the judicial officers were dismissed at a meeting presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola.

Odili was not investigated by the council on the ground that she had retired as a judicial officer while 25 other petitions were thrown out for various reasons ranging from lack of merit, lack of diligent prosecution, withdrawal, being subjudice and for the subject judge having retired from service.

However, seven state High Court Judges indicted by the NJC’S investigation committee are to face probe panels that would determine the level of their culpability.

The dismissed petitions were written against Odili, Justices A. R. Barka, James G. Abundaga, O. O. Olasumbo Goodluck, Ibrahim Andetur-Yangsto all of the Court of Appeal.

Others are Justices F. O. Liman, A. R. Mohammed, H. A. A. Dashen, Peter Lifu, F. O. G. Ogunbanjo, A. Lewis Allagoa, D. E. Osiagor all of the Federal High Court.

Others are Justices Theresa O. Diai, Chief Judge, Delta, S. B. Belgore, K. N. Ogbonnaya Jude Onwuegbuzie and Edward Okpe of the High Court of the FCT Abuja.

Others are Justices Joseph I Acha, Vesty O. Eboreime, both of High Court, Edo, Thelma Achom, Elvis A. Ngene of the Ebonyi State High Court, A. B. Usman, M. M. Abubakar of Bauchi State High Court, O. A. Opesanwo of the Lagos State High Court and Oladiran Akintola of Oyo State High Court,

The rest are Justices Gegele A. Hammed of Kwara High Court, K. N. Udobong of Akwa-Ibom High Court, B. C. Iheka, Imo High Court, M. A. Zandai High Court, Borno, Mohammed Shinkafi of Zamfara High Court, R. S. Ladoja of the Kaduna State High Court and M. S. A. Mohammed of the High Court of Niger.

At the meeting, the NJC came up with a policy barring judicial officers from switching henceforth from High Court of Justice to the Customary Court of Appeal and vice versa.

The only exception allowed is when a new Customary Court of Appeal is established in a State and Judges who indicated interest to go to the Customary Court of Appeal will be allowed to proceed.

Under the new policy, once established, the candidates for the headship of the Court must be drawn from that Court only, even if all the Judges of the Court are juniors to their counterparts in other Courts.

Meanwhile, Council recommended 37 judicial officers for appointment to the President and seven Governors as Justices of the Court of Appeal, Heads of Court and Judges of the High Court and Customary Courts of Appeal.

Those going to the Court of Appeal are Justices Asma’u Mainoma, Paul Bassi, Hannatu Laja-Balogun, Binta Zubair, Hadiza Shagari, Peter Obiora, Okon Abang, Jane Inyang and Lateef Ganiyu.

Justices Dije Aboki was recommended for appointment as Chief Judge of Kano, Daniel Okungbowa for Edo and Matilda Ayemieye for Edo.

Ebere Agozie

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