NJC bars three judges from promotion for granting conflicting ex-parte orders

THE National Judiciary Council (NJC) has barred three judges of the Federal High Court from promotion within the next three to five years for granting conflicting ex-parte orders.

NJC’s National Director of Information Soji Oye made this known in a statement on Thursday.

According to Oye, the decision was the outcome of the NJC’s two-day meeting held at the national secretariat of the commission between December 14 and 15, 2020.


READ ALSO:

Three judges face sack as NJC investigates conflicting court orders

NJC approves appointment of 22 judges for Supreme Court, others

REPORT: Eight of 33 FCT judges nominated by NJC are children, relations of Justices

Activist petitions Delta gov over nomination of judge accused of child trafficking, but NJC says he has been cleared


He noted that the meeting was chaired by the Deputy Chairman of Council Justice Mary Peter-Odili.

The affected judges, according to the statement, were Justice Okogbule Gbasam of the High Court of Rivers State, Justice Nusirat I. Umar of the High Court of Kebbi State, and Justice Edem Ita Kooffreh of the High Court of Cross River State.

Gbasam was barred from elevation to a higher Bench for two years whenever he was due, while Umar was banned for two years whenever she was also due.

Kooffreh was barred from promotion for five years over alleged abuse of court process.

Although there were no petition, allegations of corruption or impropriety against the judges, the NJC said it initiated investigation pursuant to its inherent disciplinary powers under the constitution.

Oye said the investigation unraveled the circumstances that led to the spate of ex-parte orders granted by these courts of coordinate jurisdiction over matters bearing same parties and subject matter.

The NJC had, in September, set up a probe panel to investigate the judges.

The ex-parte orders

It will be recalled that Okogbule Gbasam of the Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt, on August 24, 2021, issued an interim injunction restraining Uche Secondus from parading himself as the national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The judge issued the order following an ex-parte application filed by Ibeawuchi Alex, Dennis Amadi, Emmanuel Stephen, and Umezerike Onucha, alwho were plaintiffs.




    But in a counter ruling delivered on August 26, Nusirat Umar of Kebbi State High Court restored Secondus to office.

    Umar had issued the controversial order in a suit by four members of the PDP in the state, namely Yahaya Usman, Abubakar Muhammad, and Bashar Suleman, who filed the ex parte application, seeking an order of stay of execution of the suspension order issued by the Rivers State High Court.

    Kooffreh was said to have granted an ex-parte order in a suit between Enang Kanum Wani and Uche Secondus. In the suit, he had restrained Secondus from resuming office as the national chairman of the PDP.

    Embarrassed by development, the Chief Justice of Nigeria Mohammed Tanko had threatened, without mentioning names, that three of the judges who issued the controversial orders would face disciplinary actions.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

    Support the ICIR

    We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

    Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

    If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here


    Support the ICIR

    We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

    - Advertisement

    Recent