Against if former stance that the Judges invasions were attempts to silence the Judiciary by the Executives, the National Judicial Council (NJC) has finally bowed and has commenced the probe of seven judges for alleged misconduct and corruption, an exclusive report according to Nigeria Lawyer suggests
News Punch understands that the judges under the NJC probe according to our source are Justices I.A Kasali, M.A Savage and D.O Oluwayemi of the Lagos High Court.
Others are Justices V.N Agbata of High Court, Anambra, U. Ononogbo of High Court Abia, Nnamdi Dimgba of Federal High Court and Umar Nasir Gumi of High Court, Zamfara.
Probe panels have been set up by the council to handle each of the cases.
The judges, who would soon get their summons, were listed for probe after preliminary investigation confirmed a prima facie case against them, while the panels will begin sittings in about a fortnight.
Meanwhile, The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mahmoud Abubakar (SAN), on Thursday urged the National Judicial Council to order the immediate stepping down of the seven Justices accused of judicial fraud.
The NBA had earlier condemned the invasion of the Judges.
Abubakar gave the advice at the valedictory session in honour of Justice Sotonye Denton-West of the Court of Appeal in Abuja.
For days now, the country’s judiciary has come under criticisms over fraud allegations brought against the seven senior judicial officers.
They included two Justices of the Supreme Court and five Justices of the Federal High Court.
Abubakar said: “I am sure that many here will be expecting me to make further statements on the ongoing events affecting the nation’s judiciary.
“I have in the course of the last two weeks or so made several statements and remarks on these developments. Our position is therefore well known.
“It appears to the NBA that it is extremely important that the NJC takes very urgent steps to safeguard the public image and sanctity of the courts.
“We therefore strongly recommend that, without prejudice to the innocence or otherwise of the Judges involved in the ongoing investigations, they should be required to excuse themselves from further judicial functions.
“Better still, they may be required to proceed on compulsory leave until their innocence is fully and completely established or until the conclusion of all judicial or disciplinary proceedings.
“We believe this will be necessary in order to protect the sanctity and integrity of judicial processes that may involve the judges concerned and safeguard the public image of the institution.”
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