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Corruption: NJC Suspends Arrested Judges

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By Ganiyu Nasirudeen

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The National Judicial Council (NJC) has heeded the call of some stakeholders, as it has barred judges recently accused of corrupt practice, from sitting on cases in their various courts.

The judicial body in a statement issued Thursday by its Acting Director of Information, Mr. Soji Oye, stated that the resolution was reached at the 79th meeting of the Council. The ban is expected to last until steps taken against them on the allegation are over.

Mr. Oye indicated that the NJC meeting commenced Wednesday and ended today (Thursday).

Still, NJC Spokesman said in the Statement that the body decided that it would ensure that judicial officers who are being investigated for alleged high profile criminal offences did not perform judicial functions until their cases are concluded.

The body at the meeting, set up a Transparency and Anti-Corruption Policy Implementation Committee as provided for in its newly launched National Judicial Policy.

“The National Judicial Council, under the Chairmanship of the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Mahmud Mohammed, GCON, at its 79th Meeting held on the 2nd and 3rd day of November 2016, commenced implementation of specific aspects of the National Judicial Policy which came into force in April 2016 and was launched on Monday 24th October, 2016.

“During the Meeting, Council set-up a Transparency and Anti-Corruption Policy Implementation Committee as follows:

“Hon Justice E. O. Ayoola, CON (Rtd Justice of the Supreme Court) – Chairman.
“Hon Justice Kashim Zannah, Chief Judge of Borno State – Member.
“A. B. Mahmoud, SAN, President Nigeria Bar Association – Member.

“Section 6 of the National Judicial Policy aims at putting in place multifaceted strategies and guidelines that will ensure transparency and eliminate corruption in the Judiciary’’ the meeting statement read in part.

Mr. Oye disclosed that NJC also sought to seek amongst other measures, to provide a platform and opportunity to citizens who profess factual and credible knowledge of information on the nature and modalities of corruption in the judicial system to ventilate such.

Seven judges were recently arrested by the operatives of Department of State Security (DSS) over alleged collection of bribe, after which they subverted justice, in particular on the ruling of Akwa Ibom; Abia; Ekiti and Rivers State Governorship election matter.

The judges were after the arrest arraigned in courts.

It would be recalled the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) which initially condemned the jurists arrest on Saturday, October 8, but later recommended that the judges affected should be asked to step aside, until investigation on the allegations against them is concluded.

 

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