NJC recalls six judges accused of corruption

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recalled Adeniyi Ademola, justice of the federal high court, Abuja, who was suspended following charges of corruption brought against him by the government.

Before his recall, an Abuja high court had discharged and acquitted Ademola of the charges filed against him.

Also recalled were five judges some of whom the Department of State Services (DSS) arrested on October 8, 2016, on allegations of corruption.

They are John Inyang Okoro, supreme court; Uwani Abba Aji, court of appeal; Hydiazira Nganjiwa, federal high court; Musa Kurya, federal high court, and Agbadu James Fishim, National Industrial Court of Nigeria.

The NJC said the judges were to resume duty on June 7.

In a statement issued on Saturday by Soji Oye,  NJC spokesman, the council said it took the decision at its meeting which ended on Thursday.

It said out of eight judges, who were suspended owing to “investigations against them”, only three of them – Ademola, Sylvester Ngwuta and Ofili-Ajumogobia –  have been charged to court.

“The National Judicial Council, under the chairmanship of Hon Justice Walter S N Onnoghen, GCON, at its 82nd meeting which was held on 31 May and 1 June, 2017, considered the case of eight judicial officers who were directed to recuse themselves from duties on the request of the attorney-general of the federation pending the outcome of investigations against them. To maintain the integrity and sanctity of the judiciary and sustain public confidence, the judicial officers were directed to recuse themselves from office with effect from 2 November, 2016,” the statement read.

“After deliberation, council noted that out of the judicial officers directed to recuse themselves from performing their official duties, only three have been charged to court. They are: Hon Justice N S Ngwuta, CFR, of the Supreme Court of Nigeria; Justice A F A Ademola of the federal high court; and Hon Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the federal high court.

“The trial of Hon Justice A F A Ademola has been concluded and he has been discharged and acquitted of the charges filed against him.

“In view of the foregoing, council decided that the various heads of court should direct the following judicial officers to resume their judicial duties with effect from Wednesday 7 June, 2017, as there are already backlog of cases in their various court for the past eight months: Hon Justice John Inyang Okoro of the supreme court; Hon Justice Uwani Abba Aji of the court of appeal; Hon Justice Hydiazira A Nganjiwa of the federal high court; Hon Justice A F A Ademola of the federal high court who has been discharged and acquitted; Hon Justice Musa H Kurya of the federal high court; and Hon Justice Agbadu James Fishim of National Industrial Court of Nigeria.”