Federal High Court Judge, Hon Justice Olusegun Tokode has filed sued the National Judicial Council (NJC) challenging the constitutional validity of its recommendations to the President for his compulsory retirement.
The originating summons with Suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1240/17 filed at the Federal High Court Abuja by Justice Tokode is seeking Court’s interpretation of the allegation of “reprehensible” and “dishonest” acts regarding his appointment as a judge which was the basis for which he was recommended for compulsory retirement by the NJC.
Confirming the above suit, learned counsel to Justice Tokode, Mr. Wemimo Ogunde SAN indicated that it is important for the public to hear another side to the story. “ I must add that that I believe in his innocence and that he did nothing “heinous” or “reprehensible”. All that many of our colleagues know about this case has been what the NJC through Mr Soji Oye has said through a press release.”
“ Even as at today, my client has not received from the NJC the findings of the investigation committee almost one week after NJC went to the press to make public its recommendations.” He stated.
Speaking further, Mr. Ogunde SAN noted that the suit is to ensure that the issues are addressed publicly as against NJC’s “fighting in the dark”. “ Maybe this was done to show him how “heinous” his conduct was.” “ Enough of fighting in the dark. Our Lord has said “he that doeth truth cometh to the light that his deeds may be made manifest”.
It would be recalled that the NJC, at its 84th Meeting held on December 6, 2017, recommended to President Muhammadu Buhari that Justice Tokode should be compulsory retired from office with immediate effect following a finding of the Council on the allegation by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and Abimbola Awogboro that Justice Tokode misled the Federal Judicial Service Commission and the National Judicial Council, by submitting six judgments he claimed to have personally conducted while practicing as a lawyer; a pre-requisite for his application for appointment as a Judicial Officer, and was so appointed.
In the said publication, the Council noted that the Investigation Committee of found that the Justice Tokode personally conducted only one of the six cases submitted. Therefore, Council decided to recommend his compulsory retirement and the refund of all salaries and allowances he earned since his purported appointment to the position of a Judge to the coffers of the Judiciary.