The National Judicial Council has recommended the appointment of 26 judges after a meeting it had on March 17 and 18 under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Ibrahim Muhammad.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by the NJC spokesman, Soji Oye, who also revealed that the Council issued a strict warning to two judges, Hon. Justices Mufutau Olokoba and M. A. Savage of the Lagos State High Court.
Hon. Justice Olokoba was reprimanded and also put on the watch list of the Council for his failure to deliver judgement within the Constitutional period of 90 days and Hon. Justice Savage was reprimanded for not being in charge of his Court.
All recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR and their respective State Governors and confirmation by the National Assembly and the respective States Houses of Assembly.
The Council at the Meeting deliberated on the Reports on 24 petitions written against 29 Judges presented by its Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee and decided to empanel an investigation Committee against one Judge and issued two strong warning letters against 2 Judges of the Federal and State High Courts. It also resolved to set up a Medical Board to ascertain the health status of one Judge.
The remaining petitions were summarily dismissed for obvious and manifest lack of merit, being subjudice, overtaken by events, or that such petitions were matters for appeal.
The dismissed petitions were against Hon. Justices Rita Nosakhare Pemu, Ita G. Mbaba and Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua all of Owerri Division of the Court of Appeal; Hon. Justices O. O. Oguntoyinbo and A. Lewis- Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice Anslem A. Nwaigwe, Chief Judge of Ebonyi State, Hon. Justices M. A. Abubakar, Binta Bawa Rijau of Niger State High Court, Hon. Justice Maurice Odey Eneji of Cross River State and Hon. Justice Kulu Aliyu, Chief Judge, Zamfara State.
Other petitions dismissed were those written against Hon. Justice S. O. Falola of Osun State Judiciary; Hon. Justices C. C. Okaa, S. N. Odili and P. C. Obiorah, all of Anambra State High Court; Hon. Justice Chukwuemeka – Chikeka, Hon. Justice Ijeoma O. Agugua, Acting Chief Judge of Imo State; Hon. Justice Y. A. Adesanya of the Lagos State Judiciary and Hon. Justices Godwin O. Ollor and S. H. Aprioku of Rivers State High Court.
Similarly, Council dismissed petitions written against Hon. Justices Hadiza H. Ali-Jos, E. B. Omotoso, I. Ityonyiman, W. O. Animasahun, A. A. Aderibigbe and Hon Kadi M. Y. Usman who served in two Election Petition Tribunals.
Council also received notifications of the retirement of seventeen (17) Judicial Officers and notifications of death of three Judges from the Federal and State Judiciaries.