NJC Bars  Judicial Officers from Switching from High Court to Customary Court  of Appeal; Empanels Committees to Investigate Judicial Officers


The National Judicial Council, at its 102nd Meeting presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, National Judicial Council, Hon. Justice Kayode Ariwoola, GCON, on 14 and 15 June 2023, 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. Judges who indicate interest to go to the Customary Court of Appeal will be allowed to proceed.

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 junior to their counterparts in other Courts.


Council considered the Reports from various Investigation Committees and the Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committees on petitions written against thirty-three (33) Judicial Officers from the Court of Appeal and State High Courts and agreed with the Committees recommendations to empanel Investigation Committees against seven Judges of different states.

Petition against the remaining Judicial Officers were either dismissed for lack of merit, lack of diligent prosecution, withdrawal of the petition, being subjudice and for the subject Judge having retired from service.

The dismissed petitions were written against Hon. Justice Mary Peter Odili, Rtd Justice of the Supreme Court, Hon. Justices A. R. Barka, James G. Abundaga, O. O. Olasumbo Goodluck, Ibrahim A. Andetur-Yangsto all of the Court of Appeal, Hon. 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 Hon. Justice Theresa O. Diai, Chief Judge, Delta State, Hon. Justices S. B. Belgore, K. N. Ogbonnaya Jude Onwuegbuzie, Edward Okpe of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Hon. Justices Joseph I Acha, Vesty O. Eboreime, both of High Court, Edo State, Hon. Justices Thelma Adanna Achom, Elvis A. Ngene of the Ebonyi State High Court, Hon. Justices A. B. Usman, M. M. Abubakar of Bauchi State High Court, Hon. Justice O. A. Opesanwo of the Lagos State High Court, Justice Oladiran Akintola of Oyo State High Court, Justice Gegele A. Hammed of Kwara State High Court, Justice K. N. Udobong of Akwa-Ibom State High Court, Justice B. C. Iheka, Imo State High Court, Justice M. A. Zandai High Court, Borno State, Justice Mohammed Shinkafi of Zamfara State High Court, Justice R. S. Ladoja of the Kaduna State High Court and Justice M. S. A. Mohammed of the High Court of Niger State.

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