NJC Recommends Retirement, Sack For Erring Judges

Mahmud Mohammed, Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the NJC
Mahmud Mohammed, Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the NJC

The National Judicial Council, NJC, has recommended compulsory retirement for two justices and dismissal for a third one. Both are to take immediate effect.

They are Justice Mohammed Tsamiya, Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division and Justice I. A. Umezulike, Chief Judge, Enugu State.

Justice Kabiru Auta of the Kano State High Court was recommended for dismissal and to be handed over to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 1, Kano, for prosecution.

This decision was reached at the 78th Meeting of the NJC, chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, in Abuja.

A press statement released by the council, which also serves as the disciplinary body for justices in Nigeria, revealed that Justice Tsamiya was recommended for compulsory retirement based on a petition written against him by Nnamdi Iro Oji with regards to his handling of the an election appeal in the Owerri division of the court of appeal

In the Petition, Tsamiya was accused of: Corruption, malice and vindictiveness; and giving perverse and conflicting decisions on the same issue in similar matters.

    In the case of the Enugu state chief judge, Justice Umezulike, he was found guilty of delivering judgement in a certain case “about 126 days after addresses were adopted, contrary to constitutional provisions that judgement should be delivered within a period of 90 days.”

    Umezulike was also found guilty of accepting a donation of N10 million made by one “Prince Arthur Eze during the pendency of the two cases in His Lordship’s Court, both of which Prince Arthur Eze has vested interest,” as well as “many instances of abuse of Judicial powers, by the Chief Judge.”

    Justice Auta of the Kano High Court was recommended for dismissal and prosecution “following the findings of the Council on the allegations levelled against him by Kabiru Yakassai which bothered on impersonation and obtaining huge sums of money by false pretence.

    The NJC stated that it has suspended the affected Justices from Office with immediate effect, “pending the approval of the recommendations of the Council for their compulsory retirement and dismissal respectively” from President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, respectively.

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