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The long arm of the law has descended on some erring members of the Nigerian Judiciary who failed in their responsibility to uphold the law.

They include Justice RITA OFILI-AJUMOGOBIA of the Federal High Court and Justice JAMES AGBADU-FISHIM of the National Industrial Court who were recommended for dismissal.

The third is Justice JOSHUA IKEDE of the Delta State High Court who was found to have altered his age and has therefore been directed to refund his salary and other entitlements for the past two years, from October 2016.

The National Judicial Council also approved the immediate suspension of Justices OFILI-AJUMOGOBIA and Justice AGBADU-FISHIM pending further action on its recommendation to President MUHAMMADU BUHARI for the dismissal of the judicial officers.

The NJC’s decisions were reached at its 87th meeting in Abuja yesterday, and made public in a statement issued by its Director of Information, SOJI OYE.

According to the statement; Justices OFILI-AJUMOGOBIA and AGBADU-FISHIM were indicted in petitions against them by the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, IBRAHIM MAGU.

It said the EFCC found that Justice OFILI-AJUMOGOBIA is a Director and Chief Executive Officer, as well as sole signatory to Nigel and Colive Company, which is contrary to the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers.

The NJC also considered the EFCC’s allegations that several personalities, individuals, government officials and business partners lodged funds into various accounts belonging to the judge.

The Council said it was also alleged that there was an ex-parte communication between the judge and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, GODWIN OBLAH, while his matter was pending before the judge.

There were several other allegations that the NJC said it could not consider because they are already before a court where the judge is standing trial. 

On his part; Justice AGBADU-FISHIM was recommended for dismissal based on findings of the NJC on allegations that he received various sums of money from litigants and lawyers that had cases before him.

The NJC was told that the monies were received under the false pretence that the Judge was bereaved or that there was delay in the payment of his salary.

The Council however noted that such exchange of cash were contrary to the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

And for the Justice EKEDI who got a lesser sanction, the NJC based its decision on a petition by ZIK GBEMRE, who is the National Coordinator of Niger Delta Peace Coalition. 

The Council found that the Judge ought to have retired since 1st October 2016, and therefore rejected his retirement letter dated 1st October this year, and backdated his retirement by two years.

Furthermore; the NJC resolved to issue a letter of advice to Justice K. C. NWAKPA of the High Court of Abia State to guard against unwarranted utterances in matters before him, which was based on a complaint by one PRINCEWILL UKEGBU.

Read 425 times Last modified on Last modified on October 05 2018

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