NJC Recommends Appointment of Four New Supreme Court Justices, Probes Eight Judges

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the appointment of four Justices for Supreme Court.

It also constituted a panel to investigate petitions pending against eight judges.

The NJC, at its meeting held between Tuesday and Wednesday, also recommended the appointment of 13 judges for Federal, State High Courts and one Kadi for Sharia Court of Appeal.

The new Supreme Court justices include; Justice Adamu Jauro, from the North-East Zone; Justice Emmanuel A. Agim, South-South Zone; Justice C. Oseji, South-South Zone; and Justice Helen M. Ogunwumiju from the South-West Zone.

Also recommended for appointment as substantive Chief Judge of the Federal High Court is Justice John Tsoho, who has been on acting capacity since July this year.

The recommendation which was part of resolution reached at the council’s meeting of October 22 and 23, 2019, have finally put to rest speculations in some quarters about the elevation of certain judges of the appellate court into the bench of the Supreme Court.

The four justices of the appellate court were part of 22 other members of the judiciary recommended to President Muhammadu Buhari for appointment into various positions.

Part of the statement made available to journalists by the NJC’s Director of Information, Soji Oye, read, “The National Judicial Council under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice I. T. Muhammad, at its Meeting of October 22 and 23, 2019, considered the list of candidates presented by its interview committee and resolved to recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Governors of Edo, Ondo, Akwa-Ibom, Kogi, Anambra, Taraba, Abia, Osun, Nasarawa and Jigawa states, 22 successful candidates for appointment as Justices of the Supreme Court, Heads of Courts and other Judicial Officers in Nigeria”.

The council also recommended Justice B. B. Kanyip as President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, while Justice Esther Edigin, was recommended for appointment as Chief Judge of Edo State High Court.

Also recommended is Justice Eunice Alade, as President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Ondo State.

While the quartet of Mathias Agboola, Sikiru Oke, Olorunfemi Ajanaku and Lawrence Arojo, were recommended for appointment as judges of the Osun State High Court, Justice Bawa Baba and Nkeruwem Obot were equally recommended for appointment as a Judges of the Nasarawa and Akwa Ibom States High Courts respectively.

Others recommended for appointment as judges of the states’ High Court include; Yahaya Adamu, Kogi; Onyinye Anumonye and Victoria Nwoye, Anambra; Goje Hamman, Taraba; and Benson Anya, Enyinnaya Okezie and Adiele Ogbonna, Abia.

Ibrahim Ya’u, was however recommended for appointment as Kadi, Sharia Court of Appeal, Jigawa State.

According to the statement all the appointed Judges are expected to be sworn-in after the approval of the President and their respective state governors and or confirmation by the Senate and State Houses of Assembly as the case may be.

“Council at the meeting deliberated on the Report of its Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee and decided to empanel eight committees to investigate eight Judicial Officers from amongst the 35 petitions written against 37 Judges of the Federal and State High Courts.

“The remaining petitions were summarily dismissed for obvious and manifest lack of merit, being subjudice, concerning administrative matters, or that such petitions were matters for appeal.

“The dismissed petitions were against Justice Adamu Abdu-kafarati, the immediate past Chief Judge of the Federal High Court; Justices Anduwi Chikere; H I O Oshoma; Ayo Emmanuel all of the Federal High Court, Justice JD Peters, National Industrial Court of Nigeria; Justice S. E. Aladetoyinbo (rtd), of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory; Justice Opeyemi Oke (rtd), Chief Judge of Lagos State; Justices K A Jose; S S Ogunsanya, T A Oyekan-Abdullahi, OO Femi-Adeniyi and D T Okuwobi, all of the Lagos State High Court of Justice. Justice Mojisola Idayat Sule, Oyo State High Court; Justices R D Harriman; A. O. Omamogbo; Michael Nduka Obi, High Court of Justice, Delta State; Justice E. N. Thompson, Rivers State High Court; Justice Inaikende Eradiri; High Court, Bayelsa State; Justices N B Ukoha and BC Iheka of High Court of Justice, Imo State; Justices F I N Ngwu; RO Odugu, Enugu State High Court; Justice Abdulkadir H. Suleiman, Bauchi State High Court and Justice Garba Abdulkadir of the Katsina State High Court of Justice”, the statement explained.

According to Oye, the NJC also approved the recommendation of two committees earlier set-up to investigate Justice Winifred I A. Effiong of Akwa-Ibom State High Court of Justice and Justice Bello Aliyu Gusau of High Court of Justice, Zamfara State, which absolved them of any judicial misconduct.