NJC Maintains S’Court Justice Okoro Cannot Resume Sitting


• Yet to take decision on Justice Ademola, says he can write for a review of his suspension

By Tobi Soniyi

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has maintained that a suspended justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Inyang Okoro, cannot resume sitting until he is cleared of all corruption allegations levelled against him by the Department of State Services (DSS).
Justice Okoro was one of the seven judges arrested in the wake of the raid on judges’ houses by operatives of the DSS last October.
After initially standing by the arrested judges, the NJC made a dramatic U-turn and suspended the justices from sitting, pending their clearance of corruption allegations.
Since his suspension on November 3, 2016, Justice Okoro has not been charged with any offence.
The council, however, has refused to lift his suspension.
A member of the council, who spoke in confidence with THISDAY, said Justice Okoro shall remain suspended, even though five months after his arrest and release, he has not been charged with any offence.
The source also said that the council was yet to take a decision on Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja, who was discharged after the charges against him were dismissed by an Abuja High Court.
“The judge, I mean Justice Ademola, is at liberty to write to the council to have his suspension reviewed in view of the judgment,” the source said.
After the court threw out the charges against Justice Ademola, the federal government rushed to file an appeal.
It is not yet clear, if the NJC will allow the judge to resume sitting while the appeal against the judgment discharging him is pending.
However, several lawyers who spoke to THISDAY said that Justice Okoro has been unfairly treated and should be allowed to resume sitting since no charge has been filed against him.