The National Judicial Council, NJC, has set up panels to investigate 15 judges of the High Court over their alleged involvement in various acts of judicial corruption.
Two serving judges are among the judicial officers under probe.
The Council, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, has resolved to look into pending petitions against the judges, at the end of its 83rd Meeting held in Abuja.
The NJC, in a statement signed by the Director of Information at the NJC, Mr. Soji Oye and made available to reporters in Abuja on Monday, pointed out that its decision to set up 15 panels to probe the judges, was informed by reports of two Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committees that looked into 46 petitions written against judicial officers in the Federal and State Judiciaries.
Though the identities of the judges were not disclosed by the Council, it said it had at the end of its meeting, dismissed a total number of 31 petitions against different judicial officers.
It said, “Al-Sagr National Insurance Company who wrote against Hon. Mr. Justice Tsoho withdrew his petition since the Hon. Judge had delivered the Ruling in his case.
“Chief Raheem A. Badmus who wrote against Hon. Justice Akeredolu also voluntarily withdrew his petition for personal reasons.
“Council treated the two petitions as withdrawn, since it did not find anything in them sufficiently serious for further consideration as stipulated in Regulation 9 (1) of the Judicial Discipline Regulations.”
NJC, however, said it considered and found worthy of further investigation, the petition written by one Azi A. Phillip on behalf of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Plateau State Chapter, accusing the immediate past Chief Judge of Plateau State, Justice P. D. Damulak, of bias, for failure to make his judgment in Suit No. PLD/J/236/16 delivered on 4th November, 2016, available to him till the time he wrote the petition.
“Council however decided not to constitute an Investigative Committee to look into the matter, because the Hon. Chief Judge had already retired from service and therefore no longer in the employment of the National Judicial Council.
“It also considered and dismissed petitions written against two other Judicial Officers for lack of merit. The Judges are:- i). Hon. Justice Mr. L. T. C. Eruba – High Court of Justice, Abia State; and (ii) Hon. Grand Kadi Abdullahi Waiya – Sharia’h Court of Appeal, Kano State.
“It also decided to issue two letters of advice to Hon. Justice M. A. Dada of the Lagos State High Court of Justice and Hon. Justice Chukwudi Charles Okaa of the Anambra State High Court for violation of extant laws in the course of their judicial duties based on petition written against their Lordships by Dayo Adamolekun, Esq. & Ridwanulah Olanite, Esq. and Reverend F. U. Ekavhiare & Associates respectively.
“Council agreed to report Adesina Ogunlana, Esq., to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (L.P.D.C.) for misconduct, for the use of uncouth language in a petition written to the National Judicial Council against Hon. Justice O. O. Atilade, the immediate past Chief Judge of Lagos State.”