The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the appointment of five justices of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court bench.
LEADERSHIP Friday recalls that since Justice Uwani Musa Abba-Aji was appointed in January 2019 to make up the 17th justice on the apex court bench, five other Justices thereafter have retired or resigned at the Supreme Court and are yet to be replaced.
The NJC had on October 24, 2019 recommended Justices Adamu Jauro, Emmanuel A Agim, C Oseji and Helen M Ogunwumiju from the Court of Appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari for appointment into the Supreme Court bench.
The elevation was to make up the 21 justices on the Supreme Court bench, but the apex court currently has only 12 justices on its bench.
According to a statement signed by the NJC director of Information yesterday, the council under the chairmanship of the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad at its 2nd virtual meeting held on August 11 and 12, 2020, considered the report of its Interview Committee and recommended 22 judicial officers as justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, heads of court, judges of High Court of states, Kadis of States Sharia Courts of Appeal and judges of Customary Courts of Appeal.
The NJC, he noted, also considered the report of its Investigation Committee on allegation
of misconduct made against Justice K. N. Ogbonnaya of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
He said: “At the end of deliberation, the plenary resolved to issue a warning letter to Justice K. N. Ogbonnaya following its findings on the petition written against him by Dr. Uchechukwu Samson Ogah, that His Lordship refused to release a copy of judgment delivered to the petitioner within the constitutionally prescribed period of seven days.
‘’In the same vein, Council also dismissed a petition written by Mrs Ademujimi Adenike Nancy against former Supreme Court Chief Registrar, Justice Sunday Olorundahunsi for want of merit’’.
This is just as the NJC has dismissed a petition written against the Chief Judge of Kwara State, Justice Sulyman Kawu for being frivolous, baseless and unmeritorious, in addition to 15 other petitions against judges the council threw away.
NJC said that Justice Kawu and others were not found wanting in the allegations against them by their respective petitioners.
Other Judges who have petitions against them dismissed are Justice Ayodele Daramola, Chief Judge, Ekiti State, Justices I. N. Oweibo, Hadiza R. Shagari, Ijeoma Ojukwu, Ambrose Lewis- Allagoa all of the Federal High Court.
The rest are Justice B A Oke-Lawal; Justice O A Ogala of the Lagos State High Court; Justice Augusta Uche Kingsley-Chukwu, High Court of Rivers State; Justice Mustapha Ramat, High Court, Nasarawa State; Justices M M Ladan and Muhammed Lawal Bello both of the High Court of Kaduna State.
Petitions against Justice Adamu M Kafin Madaki, High Court of Bauchi State; Justice L M Boufini, High Court, Bayelsa State and Kadi Goni Kur, Sharia Court of Appeal, Borno State, were also shut down for either lacking in merit or being subjudiced
“It also received the final report of the Judicial Ethics Committee and other Ad-Hoc Committees set up”, he added.
According to Soji Oye, NJC also indicated that it received the notification of retirement of thirteen Judges and notification of death of six Judges of States High Courts and Sharia Court of Appeal.