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Judicial Misconduct: NJC sacks 2 judges, warns 3 others

The Council, NJC, yesterday, said it has found two high court justices guilty of judicial misconduct, even as it okayed their compulsory retirement from office.

The Council, which disclosed that the decision was taken at the end of a meeting it held in Abuja, Wednesday, insisted that Justices G.K. Olotu of the Federal High Court and Justice U. A. Inyang of High Court of Justice of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, should forthwith vacate their various offices.

Consequently, NJC, in a letter it wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan, pleaded that the two justices should not be allowed to adjudicate in any court in the country, stressing that pursuant to its findings, they ought not to sit on the Bench.

Their sack, according to a statement signed by the acting Director of Information at the NJC, Mr Soji Oye, was based on the outcome of petitions written against them.

NJC maintained that Justice Olotu, breached the laid down judicial procedure by delivering a judgment in a case with Suit No. FHC/UY/250/2003, eighteen months after the final address by all the counsel in the suit, contrary to the constitutional provisions that judgment should be delivered within a period of 90 days.

The statement said, “The Hon. Judge admitted before the Fact Finding Committee of the Council that investigated the allegations that she forgot she had a pending ruling to deliver in an application for Joinder, and the Judge entertained a post Judgment matter in Suit No. FHC/UY/CS/250/2003 in Port Harcourt after delivering Judgment, which made her functus-officio. That in another case: Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/505/2012, Hon. Justice Olotu failed to deliver judgment twice.”

It further maintained that Justice Inyang, was also recommended for compulsory retirement from office owing to findings of the Council that “the judge included in his judgment, references to the Garnishee Proceedings, which came after the Judgment had been delivered on December 20, 2011.

Garnishee proceedings

“That His Lordship also included the name of the counsel to Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, Chief Chukwuma Ekomaru, SAN, who came into the matter after the judgment of December 20, 2011 was delivered.

“That the Judge recklessly signed a Writ of Execution, a day after delivering his judgment of 20th December, 2011, the same day a Notice of Appeal and Motion on Notice for Stay of Execution were filed.

That the Judge continued with the Garnishee Proceedings despite application for Stay of Execution; and that before delivering his Judgment of 20th December, 2011, Hon. Justice Inyang ignored a properly filed Motion on Notice for leave to file additional witness Statement on Oath.”

Meantime, the NJC, yesterday, said it has in the exercise of its disciplinary powers under the 1999 Constitution as amended, suspended the two judges from office with immediate effect.

The Council equally issued warning letters to the Presiding Justice of Court of Appeal Kaduna Division, Justice Dalhatu Adamu, Justice A. A. Adeleye of High Court of Justice, Ekiti State and Justice D. O. Amaechina of High Court of Justice, Anambra State, respectively.

Justice Adamu, was specifically reprimanded after it was found that he deliberately absented himself from duty, an action the NJC said amounted to gross misconduct contrary to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended and the Code of Conduct of Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/02/judicial-misconduct-njc-sacks-2-judges-warns-3-others/#sthash.29ojdxUs.dpuf

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