NJC okays appointment of Judges, head of courts, sacks Taraba CJ

The National Judicial Council(NJC) has okayed the appointment of six Heads of Court and five Judges of Plateau State High Court.

Similarly, the council ordered the Chief Judge of Taraba State, Justice F. B. Andetur, to vacate his office with immediate effect.

Headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Kayode Ariwoola, the NJC also ordered the Taraba CJ to handover to the next most senior Judge in the state.

According to a statement  made available to newsmen in Abuja, the NJC said it had at the end of a meeting held on March 16, recommended the compulsory retirement of the CJ, following the findings of a Committee that investigated a petition that was lodged against him.

The Committee, according to the statement, found merit in the petition brought against Justice Andetur by Senator Muhammed Sanusi Dagash.

It stated that the Taraba CJ suppressed judgment by failing to deliver his verdict in Suit No: TRSJ/134/17: Mallam Kassim Yahaya Ahmad Vs Shittu Wurmo & Shuwari Farms Limited, 30 months after all the parties adopted their final addresses.

The NJC, in a statement  signed by its Director, Information, Mr. Soji Oye, said: “In the interim, the Council in exercise of its disciplinary powers under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, is suspending Hon. Justice Andetur from office pending his compulsory retirement.

“He is to hand over to the next most senior Judge in the State.” 

Meanwhile, the Council disclosed that it has set up Committees to probe four petitions pending against some judges.

Even though it did not disclose identities of the judicial officers under probe, the NJC however revealed that the case against them were among seven petitions that were brought before it, out of which three were dismissed.

“One of the three, was dismissed for being subjudice and the remaining two were dismissed because the Judicial Officers had retired from service, and by virtue of Rule 18(2) (h) of the National Judicial Council Judicial Discipline Regulations 2017, the Respondent Judicial Officers are no longer under the disciplinary control of the Council.

“Similarly, Council considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee and at the end of deliberation, recommended the appointment of six Heads of Court and five Judges of Plateau State High Court as follows:

“Chief Judge of Benue State; Hon. Justice Ikpambese Maurice Ahemba; Chief Judge, Adamawa State, Hon. Justice Hafsat Abdulrahman.

“Chief Judge, Kwara state, Hon. Justice Abiodun Ayodele Adebara; Chief Judge, Oyo State, Hon. Justice Iyabo Subulade Yerima; Grand Kadi, Sharia Court of Appeal, Adamawa State, Hon. Kadi Ibrahim Wakili Sudi, as well as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Adamawa State, Hon. Justice Audu James Balami”.

Names of those recommended for appointment as judges of the Plateau State, as; Charles Donglong, Ashahabu Suleiman Wase, Shikamma Kassam Sheltu, Mary Abah Izam and Nanle Titus Komak.

“The notification of retirements of eight Judicial Officers of the Federal and State Courts and notification of death of a Court of Appeal Justice were also received and noted by Council ”, the statement further read.