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NJC bars judges under probe from further sitting

 

ngwuta-ademola-okoro

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has barred judges currently being investigated for criminal offences from further presiding over cases and performing other functions relating to their offices pending when their innocence was established.

NJC made the decision at its 79th meeting held in Abuja between Wednesday and Thursday.

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Abubakar Mahmud (SAN) had while speaking at a function in Abuja last week, suggested that judges recently arrested by the Department State Services (DSS) be made to step down until their cases were determined.

The NJC responded, claiming it lacked the powers to order judges, against who allegations were made without any evidence provided to back such allegations, to cease to serve.

The council was however silent, in a statement it issued yesterday, on the reason for its sudden change of mind.

Part of the statement signed by NJC’s Acting Director, Information, reads: “Council decided that Judicial officers shall not be standing trial for alleged corruption related offences and be performing judicial functions at the same time.

“Council however decided that it will ensure that judicial officers, who are being investigated for alleged high profile criminal offences do not perform judicial functions until their cases are concluded,” it said.

Justice Ajumogobia
a multi-million Naira mansion corruptly acquired by of the Judges

The statement added that the NJC “at its 79th meeting held on the 2nd and 3rd day of November 2016, commenced implementation of specific aspects of the National Judicial Policy which came into force in April 2016 and was launched on Monday 24th  October, 2016.

“During the Meeting, Council set-up a Transparency and Anti-Corruption Policy Implementation Committee as follows:

*Hon Justice E. O. Ayoola, CON (Rtd Justice of the Supreme Court) – Chairman.

*Hon Justice Kashim Zannah, Chief Judge of Borno State – Member.

*A. B. Mahmoud, SAN, President Nigeria Bar Association – Member.

“Section 6 of the National Judicial Policy aims at putting in place multifaceted strategies and guidelines that will ensure transparency and eliminate corruption in the Judiciary.

“It seeks, amongst other measures, to provide a platform and opportunity to citizens who profess factual and credible knowledge of information on the nature and modalities of corruption in the judicial system to ventilate such.”

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