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NJC reinstates judges suspended, places others on watchlist



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Six of the eight justices the National Judicial Council rusticated last November following a sweep by the DSS across the nation will resume duty June 7, to meet backlogs of cases that have accumulated in eight months.
Three others are equally placed on watchlist ranging from one to three years because of petitions pending against them.
The NJC chaired by CJN Justice Walter. S. N. Onnoghen made the recommendation at its 82nd Meeting which was held on 31st May and 1st June.
“After deliberation, Council noted that out of the Judicial Officers directed to recuse themselves from performing their official duties, only three have been charged to court,” a statement released by the council revealed.
Justices N. S. Ngwuta, CFR, of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, A. F. A. Ademola of the Federal High Court; and Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court were charged to court, and Ademola has been discharged and acquitted of the charges filed against him.
Among those recommended to go back to work are Hon. Justices John Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court, Uwani Abba Aji of the Court of Appeal, Hydiazira A. Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court, Ademola, Musa H. Kurya of the Federal High Court; and Agbadu James Fishim of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.
Placed under observation are M.N. Esowe, Adolphus Enebeli of the High Court of Justice, Rivers State and Hon. Justice Bassey Frank Etuk of the Akwa-Ibom State High Court for different offences.
Justice Esowe got on the NJC watch list for one year following a petition written against her by Mr. Jimmy Dirisu Aliu, alleging injustice for failing to deliver ruling in a suit after eight months.
Enebeli will be monitored for three years because the NJC found out Enebeli violated the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by granting ex-parte order in Suit No. PHC/983/2016, preventing the swearing-in of Victoria Wodo Nyeche as a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, when the claim in the suit did not border on qualification or pre-election matter.
Hon. Justice Bassey Frank Etuk was warned following a petition written against him by Oro Youth Movement for failure to deliver judgment in Suit No. HOR/FHC/97/2014, a Fundamental Human Right case, after hearing it to conclusion and adjourned same for judgment to the 8th June, 2015. The Hon. Judge then proceeded on National assignment as an Election Petition Tribunal member and did not deliver the judgment even after his return in November, 2015, when he transferred the case file to the Chief Judge
for it to start de-novo.
The Suit was filed by two officers of the Movement to prevent the police from arresting them after they were reported for embezzling the sum of N20 million from the account of the movement.
  1. Council also considered and dismissed petitions written against twelve other Judicial Officers because three of the petitioners withdrew their petitions and nine others lacked merit.
Among the justices so acquitted are Hon. Justice T. U. Uzokwe, Chief Judge, Abia State, Hon. Justice Okoroafor of the Abia State High Court and Hon. Justice Judge Okeke of the FCT High Court of Justice, and Hon. H. A. Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court.
Others include Justices Adamu Abdu-Kafarati and O. E. Abang, both of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justices Mobolaji Ojo, and E. O. Osinuga, both of the Ogun State High Court, Hon. Justice B. A. Oke-Lawal of Lagos State High Court, Hon. Justice A. A. Aderemi of Oyo State, Ntong F. Ntong of Akwa-Ibom State High Court and the second petition written against Hon. Justice Bassey Frank Etuk of Akwa-Ibom State High Court of Justice.