The days of six judges, considered to have fallen short of the standard required of them in the temple of justice, appear to be numbered as the National Judicial Council, NJC, has concluded investigations into allegations of graft and other infractions levelled against them. They were found quilty.
Although names of the affected judges were not made public, Vanguard gathered that no fewer than two of them were from appellate courts in the country.
A source familiar with the matter said: “The petitions that resulted in the investigation of the judges were lodged and looked into even before the appointment of the current Chief Justice of Nigeria.
“The truth is that no action was taken in the different submissions made by the panels that probed the allegations until now.
“What it means is that the different reports prepared by the panels have just been presented to the NJC, which is expected to announce a verdict soon.”
But some of those likely to be hit by the development, are said to have made spirited efforts to see the CJN and plead for soft-landing without being exposed to the public, as was recently done to two corrupt judicial officers.
However, the efforts of the affected officers were said to have hit the brick wall, as the CJN has not given them or their emissaries any attention to discuss their problem with her.
One source said: “The main problem for those trying to lobby the CJN is that she does not receive people particularly political-leaning persons so as not to be accused of taking side with any individual or group.
“Have you ever heard that the CJN received any body either in her office or residence”? the source asked.
It was not, however, clear as at last night when the meeting of the NJC would be held as the one slated for this month was called off during the week.
Last month, the National Judicial Council announced the compulsory retirement of Justice C. E. Archibong of the Federal High Court Lagos and Justice T. D. Naron of the Plateau State High Court over allegation of corruption.
The council also announced the setting up of a ‘fact-finding’ committee to probe the conduct of Justice Abubakar Talba of the FCT High Court on the controversial John Yusuf’s Police Pension case judgment.
A statement signed by Mr. Soji Oye, the NJC’s Ag. Director of Information said the council which took the decision at its emergency meeting chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar has asked President Goodluck Jonathan and the Governor David Jonah Jang of Plateau State to immediately send the two judges on compulsory retirement for their misconducts.
Justice Archibong was recommended for compulsory retirement pursuant to the ‘Findings” by the Council on the following Complaints leveled against him: “That the Judge dismissed the grievous charges against an accused without taking his plea, that he refused to release the Certified True Copy of his Ruling to the Lawyers.”
Justice Archibong was also said to have issued a bench warrant on some officials of Peoples Democratic Party for contempt even when the counsel who was directed by the Court to serve them filed an affidavit that he had not been able to serve the contempt application. He also made unfounded and caustic remarks on professional competence of some Senior Advocates of Nigeria.
Justice T. D. Naron of High Court of Justice, Plateau State was recommended for compulsory retirement sequel to the ‘Findings’ by the Council that there were constant and regular voice calls and exchange of mms and sms(text) messages between him and one of the Lead Counsel for one of the parties to the Suit in the Osun State Gubernatorial Election Tribunal contrary to the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria vide Section 292(1((b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.