The National Judicial Council on Friday in Abuja recommended the compulsory retirement of the Chief Judge of Taraba State High Court, Justice Philibus F. B. Andetur, with immediate effect.
Justice Andetur was recommended for compulsory retirement following his indictment in a petition written against him by Senator Muhammed Sanusi Dagash.
The NJC found that the CJ breached provisions of Section 294 (1) of the 1999 Constitution and subsequently recommended him for compulsory retirement with immediate effect to Governor Darius Ishaku.
Dagash had accused the embattled CJ of suppressing judgment by failing to deliver judgment in Suit No: TRSJ/134/17 involving Mallam Kassim Yahaya Ahmad Vs Shittu Wurmo and Shuwari Farms Limited.
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Though the law stipulates three months to deliver judgment after the adoption of final addresses, Justice Andetur was said to have suppressed the judgment delivery for 30 months, thus breaching the provisions of the constitution.
In the interim, the council in exercise of its disciplinary powers suspended Justice Andetur from office pending his compulsory retirement.
A statement by the Director of Information, NJC, Mr Soji Oye, said Justice Andetur should hand over to the next most senior judge in the state.
The statement also said the council considered the report of one of its complaints assessment committees and agreed with the recommendation to empanel four committees to further investigate four of the seven petitions forwarded to it, while it dismissed three others.
One of the three petitions was dismissed for being sub judice and the remaining two were dismissed because the judicial officers had retired from service and by virtue of Rule 18(2) (h) of the National Judicial Council Judicial Discipline Regulations, 2017, they were no longer under the disciplinary control of the council.
Similarly, the council, which was presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, also considered the list of candidates presented by its interview committee.
At the end of the deliberation, it recommended the appointment of six heads of court and five judges of the Plateau State High Court.
The heads of courts are Justice Ikpambese Maurice Ahemba as Chief Judge for Benue State, Justice Hafsat Abdulrahman as Chief Judge for Adamawa State, Justice Abiodun Ayodele Adebara as Chief Judge for Kwara State, Justice Iyabo Subulade Yerima as Chief Judge for Oyo State, Ibrahim Wakili Sudi as Grand Kadi for Sharia Court of Appeal, Adamawa State, and Justice Audu James Balami as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Adamawa State.
The judges recommended for the High Court of Plateau State are Charles Donglong, Ashahabu Suleiman Wase, Shikamma Kassam Sheltu, Mary Abah Izam and Nanle Titus Komak
The statement explained that the NJC received the notification of the retirements of eight judicial officers of the federal and state courts and the notification of death of a Court of Appeal justice.
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