NJC recommends sack of two judges for age falsification

  • Council recommends appointment of 69 judges
  • 18 petitions against 14 judges dismissed

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the compulsory retirement of the Grand Kadi of Yobe State, Shu’aibu A. Talba, and Justice Abdulkareem Babatunde Abdulrasaq of the Osun State High Court with immediate effect.

The NJC has, in the exercise of its disciplinary powers under the Constitution, suspended both judicial officers from office pending the approval of the recommendation of their compulsory retirement by their governors.

The council took the decision at its 93rd virtual meeting on December 16, 2020, during which it rejected 18 petitions against 14 judges and recommended the appointment of 69 others.

NJC spokesman Soji Oye announced these in a statement on Sunday.

He said the meeting also recommended the promotion of 70 workers of the NJC.

Talba, according to the statement, “was recommended for compulsory retirement following an investigation into a petition against him written by Malam Zakar Adamu, Chairman of the Movement for Justice in Nigeria, alleging that His Lordship falsified his age on two occasions, that is, from February 1, 1955 to August 27, 1955 and later to December 30, 1959.

“Findings revealed that he was supposed to have retired on February 1, 2020, by virtue of his declared date of birth of February 1, 1955.

“Council, after deliberation, decided to recommend His Lordship’s compulsory retirement to Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.

“Furthermore, Council requested the Government of Yobe State to deduct all salaries received by His Lordship from February 1, 2020 till date, from his gratuity, and remit same to the NJC that pays salaries of all judicial officers in the federation.”

The NJC recommended Abdulrasaq’s compulsory retired after considering a petition written against him by Chief Yomi Alliyu (SAN) and found merit in his allegation that Justice Abdulrasaq “falsified his date of birth from September 3, 1955 to September 3, 1957.

“Council, therefore, recommended His Lordship’s compulsory retirement to Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State with effect from September 3, 2020. It also requested the Osun State government to deduct from His Lordship’s gratuity, salaries received by him from September 3, 2020, and remit same to the NJC.”

Those against whom petitions were dismissed include: Justices Simon A. Amobeda, Taiwo O. Taiwo, Nnamdi Dimgba and R. O. Dugbo Oghoghorie (of the Federal High Court); T. O. Uloho and Michael N. Obi (of the Delta State High Court), and G. M. Onyeabo (of the Lagos State High Court).

Others are: Justices A. I. Iyayi-Lamikanra (Chief Judge, Rivers State), A. U. Kingsley-Chuku and Justice J. N. Ukpugwnum (of the River State High Court), F. B. Andetur (Chief Judge, Taraba State), Comfort C. Ani (Enugu State High Court), M. A. Pindiga (Gombe State High Court) and M. M. Umar (Kebbi State High Court).

“Similarly, Council considered the Report of the Interview Committee and recommended the appointment of 69 judicial officers as Heads of Court, Judges of High Court of States, Kadis of States/FCT Sharia Courts of Appeal and Judges of the Customary Courts of Appeal.

“In another development, Council also received and approved the Report of its Committee on Appointments, Promotion and Discipline, which recommended the promotion of 70 members of staff of the National Judicial Council.

“The notifications of retirement of 12 judicial officers and notifications of death of three judges of Federal and State Courts were also received and noted by council.”

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