The National Judicial Council, under the Chairmanship of the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, GCON, at its Meeting which was held on 26th February, 2014 recommended the compulsory retirement from office of Hon. Justice G.K. Olotu of the Federal High Court and Hon. Justice U. A. Inyang of High Court of Justice of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, respectively for gross misconduct.
Hon. Justice G. K. Olotu was recommended for compulsory retirement from office to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR pursuant to the ‘Findings” by the Council on the following allegations inter-alia, contained in the petitions written against His Lordship:-
· That the Judge failed to deliver Judgment only to deliver same in Suit No. FHC/UY/250/2003, eighteen months after the final Address by all the Counsel in the suit, contrary to the Constitutional provisions that Judgments should be delivered within a period of 90 days;
· The Hon. Judge admitted before the Fact Finding Committee of the Council that investigated the allegations that she forgot she had a pending Ruling to deliver in an application for Joinder; and
· That the Judge entertained a post Judgment matter in Suit No. FHC/UY/CS/250/2003 in Port Harcourt after delivering Judgment, which made her functus officio.
· That in another case: Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/505/2012, Hon. Justice Olotu failed to deliver judgment twice.
Hon. Justice U. A. Inyang of High Court of Justice of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja was also recommended for compulsory retirement from office to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR sequel to the “Findings” of the Council on the following allegations leveled against His Lordship:-
· That the Judge included in his Judgment, references to the Garnishee Proceedings, which came after the Judgment had been delivered on 20th December, 2011.
· That His Lordship also included the name of the Counsel to Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Chief Chukwuma Ekomaru, SAN, who came into the matter after the judgment of 20th December, 2011 was delivered;
· That the Judge recklessly signed a Writ of Execution, a day after delivering his judgment of 20th December, 2011, the same day a Notice of Appeal and Motion on Notice for Stay of Execution were filed.
· That the Judge continued with the Garnishee Proceedings despite application for Stay of Execution; and
· That before delivering his Judgment of 20th December, 2011, Hon. Justice Inyang ignored a properly filed Motion on Notice for leave to file additional witness Statement on Oath.
In the meantime, the National Judicial Council has in the exercise of its disciplinary powers under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, suspended the two Judges from office with immediate effect.
The Council also issued warning letters to Hon. Justice Dalhatu Adamu, CFR, the Presiding Justice of Court of Appeal Kaduna Division, Hon. Justice A. A. Adeleye of High Court of Justice, Ekiti State and Hon. Justice D. O. Amaechina of High Court of Justice, Anambra State, respectively.
Hon. Justice Dalhatu Adamu, CFR was warned by Council at its Meeting which was held on 26th February, 2014 for deliberately absenting himself from duty, which is an act of gross misconduct contrary to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended and the Code of Conduct of Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
It would be recalled that Council at its last Meeting which was held on 4th and 5th December, 2013 considered and deliberated on the Report of its Five-Man Committee who were mandated to invite Judicial Officers with Very Low performance or Non-performance to appear before it. At the end of deliberation on the Report of the Committee, Council found Hon. Justice A. A. Adeleye of High Court of Justice, Ekiti State and Hon. Justice D. O. Amaechina of High Court of Justice, Anambra State, respectively culpable of very low performance. Consequently, Council decided to issue warning letters to them for decline in their productivity.
Soji Oye, Esq.
Ag. Director (Information)