The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended two judges for compulsory retirement with immediate effect. This was announced via press release signed by Soji Oye, NJC's acting Director of Information. According to the release, the NLC, headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, took the decision at its meeting, which held on 13 and 14 April. The affected judges are Justice O. Gbaja-Biamila of Lagos State High Court and Hon. Justice Idris M. J. Evuti of the Niger State High Court.
Justice Gbaja-Biamila was recommended for retirement to the Governor of Lagos State on account of NJC's findings during the investigation of allegations contained in petitions written against him by Mr. C. A. Candide Johnson, SAN.
The petition alleged that Gbaja-Biamila delivered judgment in Suit No ID\1279\2007 P. K. Ojo Vs SDV & SCOA Nigeria Plc 22 months after the adoption of written addresses by all the counsels and 35 months after the close of evidence in the suit.
This, stated the NJC, is contrary to the constitutional provisions that judgments should be delivered within a period of 90 days.
The petition also alleged that Gbaja-Biamila failed to publish a copy of judgment he delivered on 24 December Misconduct: NJC Recommends 2 Judges For Compulsory Retirement 2013, until after 40 days. The action, explained the NJC, contravenes the constitutional provision, which prescribes that a copy of the judgment of a superior court of record be given to parties in the case within seven days of being delivered. Another allegation was that Gbaja-Biamila continued to hear the suit in his court even after being notified of the pendency of a motion for a stay of execution at the Court of Appeal and that an appeal had been filed.
"Prior to the issuance of the first writ of attachment, the Court Registrar, under the direct administration of the Hon. Judge, falsely misrepresented to the Deputy Sheriff in a memo dated November 28th, 2014, that there was no Appeal or Motion in the case file as at 28th November 2014. Meanwhile, there were two Notices of Appeal and two Summonses to settle Records in the Court’s file," the release stated.
Similarly leveled against Gbaja-Biamila is the allegation that he gave an order on February 23 2015, upon an Ex-parte application substituting the name of SDV Nigeria Ltd with Bollore Logistics Nigeria Ltd without serving the order of substitution on the affected party or its legal representatives. The NJC viewed Gbaja-Biamila's actions as a failure to
exhibit professional competence required to preserve the integrity of the judiciary and deemed them to have constituted misconduct contrary to Section 292 (1) (b) of the Constitution.
In the case of Justice Evuti, the NJC considered a petition written by Mohammed Idris Eggun against him and Justice Tanko Yusuf Usman of the High Court of Niger State on falsification of their birth dates.
The petitioner had alleged that Justice Evuti falsely changed his date of birth from September 15, 1950, to April 10 1953, while and Justice Usman did same by altering his from 27 June 1950 to 27 June 1951.
A fact- finding committee set-up by the NJC, the Council said, discovered from records made available to it that Justice Evuti used three different dates of birth over the years. The dates are 15 September 1950, April 10, 1953, and April 1, 1953.
Aside from recommending him for retirement, the NJC also recommended to the Niger State government to deduct all salaries received by Justice Usman from September 2015 till date from his gratuity and remit such to the NJC, which pays salaries of all judicial officers in the country.
However, Justice Usman escaped the axe of compulsory retirement because the NJC had already accepted his retirement with effect from March 1 , 2016. But the Council wrote to the Niger State
BREAKING NEWS:Two Judges force to Resign as a result of corruption Reviewed by Link Naija on 12:51:00 Rating: