The National Judicial Council has dismissed twenty-six petitions presented against judges in various courts in the country for “manifest lack of merit”. The Council further set up a panel to investigate one judge while two others were issued with strong warning.
The above decision was the outcome of the 94th meeting of the Council held on the 17th and 18th of March, 2021.
The statement signed by the NJC Director of Information, Soji Oye, stated that the Council “deliberated on the reports on 24 petitions written against 29 Judges presented by its Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee and decided to empanel an investigation Committee against one Judge and issued two strong warning letters against 2 Judges of the Federal and State High Courts. It also resolved to set up a Medical Board to ascertain the health status of one Judge.
“Council decided to issue strong warning letters to Hon. Justices Mufutau Olokoba and M. A. Savage of the Lagos State High Court.”
Hon. Justice Olokoba was reprimanded and also put on the watch list of the Council for his failure to deliver judgement within the Constitutional period of 90 days and Hon. Justice Savage was reprimanded for not being in charge of his Court.
The remaining petitions were summarily dismissed for obvious and manifest lack of merit, being subjudice, overtaken by events or that such petitions were matters for appeal.”
The dismissed petitions were against Hon. Justices Rita Nosakhare Pemu, Ita G. Mbaba and Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua all of Owerri Division of the Court of Appeal; Hon. Justices O. O. Oguntoyinbo and A. Lewis-Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice Anslem A. Nwaigwe, Chief Judge of Ebonyi State, Hon. Justices M. A. Abubakar, Binta Bawa Rijau of Niger State High Court, Hon. Justice Maurice Odey Eneji of Cross River State and Hon. Justice Kulu Aliyu, Chief Judge, Zamfara State.
Other petitions dismissed were those written against Hon. Justice S. O. Falola of Osun State Judiciary; Hon. Justices C. C. Okaa, S. N. Odili and P. C. Obiorah, all of Anambra State High Court; Hon. Justice Chukwuemeka – Chikeka, Hon. Justice Ijeoma O. Agugua, Acting Chief Judge of Imo State; Hon. Justice Y. A. Adesanya of the Lagos State Judiciary and Hon. Justices Godwin O. Ollor and S. H. Aprioku of Rivers State High Court.
Similarly, Council dismissed petitions written against Hon. Justices Hadiza H. Ali-Jos, E. B. Omotoso, I. Ityonyiman, W. O. Animasahun, A. A. Aderibigbe and Hon Kadi M. Y. Usman who served in two Election Petition Tribunals.
Council also received notifications of retirement of seventeen (17) Judicial Officers and notifications of death of three Judges from the Federal and State Judiciaries.