The National Judicial Council-the body overseeing the activities of judges in the country-has revealed it had earlier recommended the sack of Justice Adeniyi Ademola to President Muhammadu Buhari. The body said the embattled judge’s resignation on Thursday was an afterthought, suggesting he had a foreknowledge of his impending sack.
“The purported voluntary retirement is clearly an afterthought as council had taken action before his decision to forward any voluntary retirement letter”, said Soji Oye, NJC’s Director of Information. Justice Ademola who is due to retire in April 2018 was recently acquitted in a corruption case the government brought against him.
Equally, the body said, like Ademola, it recommended Justice O. O. Tokode’s sack for misconduct. Both judges were of the federal high court.
On Ademola, the NJC said it received a petition from the Committee of Anambra State PDP House of Representatives Members-Elect, which it investigated. It further said Ademola was found to have compromised in the judgement he delivered on the matter.
On Tokode, the NJC said it acted on a petition written to it by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and Miss Abimbola Awogboro.
“The petitioners accused the judge of misleading the Federal Judicial Service Commission and the National Judicial Council.
” This was by submitting six judgements he claimed to have personally conducted while practising as a lawyer; a pre-requisite for his application for appointment as a judicial officer, and was so appointed.
“The investigation committee of council, however, found that the judge personally conducted only one of the six cases submitted.
” Therefore, Council decided to recommend his compulsory retirement and the refund of all salaries and allowances he earned since his purported appointment to the position of a Judge to the coffers of the Judiciary.”
Moreover, the NJC said it issued warning letters to Justices A. N. Ubaka of the National Industrial Court, Justice A. M. Lawal of Lagos High Court and Zainab Sadat of the High Court of Niger and placed them both on a watch list.
However, the NJC said it dismissed the petition written by Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, former interim chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, accusing Justice A. Liman of the Federal High Court of corruption.