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Sacked Judge Challenges Dismissal, Sues FG, NJC



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Justice Gladys Olotu, who was dismissed by President Goodluck Jonathan on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, has approached an Abuja Federal High Court to challenge her compulsory retirement.

Interestingly, Justice Olotu was a judge of the same Abuja FHC before she was relieved of her duties after the NJC found her guilty of gross misconduct following investigations into petitions that were brought against her.

In the ex parte motion filed on her behalf by her counsel, S. I. Ameh, SAN, the former judge is seeking an order of certiorari for judicial review of her suspension and recommendation for retirement by the NJC.

President Jonathan, the NJC, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mariam Mukhtar, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, SAN, and the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, were listed as the defendants in the suit.

After hearing the ex parte motion in his chambers on Wednesday, Justice Adeniyi Ademola granted Justice Olotu leave to seek a judicial review of her suspension, and thereafter adjourned to March 19 for hearing.

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Justice Ademola directed that all the defendants should be served with the motion before the hearing date.

Justice Olotu’s suit came on the heels of the President’s approval of her dismissal, as recommended by the NJC.

She was dismissed alongside Justice U. A. Inyang of the Federal Capital Territory High Court.

The AGF had announced the President’s approval of the NJC recommendation.

Earlier on February 27, the Acting Director of Information in the NJC, Soji Oye, had explained in a statement that the Council, headed by the CJN, Justice Mukhtar, suspended the two judges and forwarded the recommendation for their dismissal to the President at a meeting on February 26.

The recommendation for compulsory retirement of the two judges was based on findings made by the NJC after investigations into allegations contained in petitions brought against them.

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According to the NJC, Justice Olotu “failed to deliver judgment only to deliver same in Suit No. FHC/UY/250/2003, 18 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 Council added that Justice Olotu “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.”

The NJC equally found that she “entertained a post Judgment matter in Suit No. FHC/UY/CS/250/2003 in Port Harcourt after delivering judgment, which made her functus officio.”

It was also established that “in another case, Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/505/2012, Justice Olotu failed to deliver judgment twice.”

However, Justice Olotu has reportedly debunked the allegations, describing the petition which warranted her suspension and subsequent dismissal as malicious and in bad faith.

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