The National Judicial Council, NJC, Tuesday, sacked two justices of various state high courts.
Justice O. Gbajabiamila of Lagos State High Court and Justice Idris M. J. Evuti of the Niger State High Court for judicial misconduct.
The judicial council which is presided by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, took the decision at the end of a meeting held on April 13 and 14.
One of two other judges was also suspended on account of age falsification and ordered to refund all salaries he received from June last year, while the other, though retired, was ordered to have all salaries earned till June 2015 deducted from his gratuity and paid to the NJC, being the body responsible for payment of salaries to all judicial officers.
The judicial council approved Justice Gbajabiamila’s sack after it found that he delivered judgment in a matter before him 22 months after written addresses were adopted by all the parties and 35 months after the close of evidence in the suit.
According to the council, after it investigated a petition lodged before it by Mr. C. A. Candide-Johnson, SAN, it concluded that the action the judge took in suit No ID\1279\2007 P. K. Ojo Vs SDV & SCOA Nigeria Plc, was contrary to constitutional provisions that judgments should be delivered within a period of 90 days.
In a statement signed by the acting Director of Information at the NJC, Soji Oye, “His Lordship did not publish a copy of judgment he delivered on December 24, 2013, until after 40 days, contrary to the provision of the constitution which required that a copy of the Judgment of a Superior Court of Record be given to parties in the case within seven days of delivery.
“That the Hon. Judge continued to hear the suit in his court after he had been notified of the pendency of a motion for a stay of execution at the Court of Appeal and that an appeal had been entered.
“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 28, 2014, that there was no appeal or motion in the case file as at November 28, 2014.
“Meanwhile, there were two Notices of Appeal and two summons to settle records in the court’s file. That the Hon. Judge 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.
“That the Hon. Judge failed to maintain professional competence required to preserve the integrity of the judiciary. “The above allegations constitute misconduct, contrary to Section 292 (1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended and Rules 1.3, 3.3, 3.4 and 3.7 of the 2016 Revised Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.