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CORRUPTION: NJC Sacks Three Judges

Source: pointblanknews.com

For offences ranging from corruption, malice and vindictiveness, the

National Judicial Council, has recommended compulsory retirement from

office of Justice Mohammed Ladan Tsamiya, Presiding Justice, Court of

Appeal, Ilorin Division, Justice I. A. Umezulike, OFR, Chief Judge, Enugu

State and the dismissal from service of Justice Kabiru M. Auta of the High

Court of Justice, Kano State with immediate effect.

In the case of Hon. Justice Kabiru M. Auta, the NJC directed that he is

handed over to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 1, Kano,

for prosecution.
A statement signed by Soji Oye, Esq., Ag. Director (Information), said:

“Hon. Justice Mohammed Ladan Tsamiya of the Court of Appeal was

recommended for compulsory retirement from Office to President Muhammadu

Buhari, GCFR, pursuant to the 'Findings' by the Council in the petition

written by Nnamdi Iro Oji against him and Hon. Justices Husseini Muktar,

F. O. Akinbami and J. Y. Tukur, all Justices of Court of Appeal who sat on

Election Appeal Panel in the Owerri Division of the Court during the 2015

General Elections. The Petition contains the following allegations, among

others:
• Corruption, malice and vindictiveness; and
• Giving perverse and conflicting decisions on the same issue in similar

matters in Appeal CA/OW/EPT/SN/50/2015: Chief Dr. David Ogba Onuoha

Bourdex Vs Hon. Mao Onuabunwa & Anor;
• CA/OW/EPT/SN/47/2015; Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu & Anor Vs Hon. Mao Ohuabunwa &

Ors; and CA/OW/EPT/HR/61/2015: Nnamdi Iro Oji Vs Nkole Uko Ndukwe & 16

Ors.
During deliberations, Council found as follows:-
• That there was evidence that the Petitioner met with Hon. Justice

Mohammed Ladan Tsamiya thrice, in his residence in Sokoto, Gwarinpa, Abuja

and Owerri where on each occasion, he demanded from him the sum of

N200,000.000 (Two Hundred Million Naira) to influence the Court of Appeal

Panel in Owerri or risk losing the case;
• That the allegations of giving two conflicting judgements on the same

matter was not true as the two judgements were in respect of two different

appeals: one was in respect of House of Representative Seat, a Federal

Constituency, while the other was in respect of a Senate Seat which

covered one third of the State;
• That there was no allegation and no evidence that the Petitioner ever

met or discussed with Hon. Justices Husseini Mukhtar (JCA), F. O.

Akinbami(JCA) and J. Y. Tukur(JCA) in respect of the appeal before them.

In the Light of the foregoing that Hon. Justices Husseini Mukhtar (JCA),

F. O. Akinbami(JCA) and J. Y. Tukur(JCA), were exonerated.

Hon. Justice I. A. Umezulike, OFR, Chief Judge, Enugu State was

recommended to the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for

compulsory retirement sequel to the findings by the Council on the

following allegations levelled against him by Barrister Peter Eze:-

• That the Hon. Chief Judge failed to deliver Judgement in Suit No

E/13/2008: Ajogwu V Nigerian Bottling Company Limited in which final

Addresses were adopted on 23rd October, 2014.  The judgement was however

delivered on 9th March, 2015, about 126 days after addresses were adopted,

contrary to constitutional provisions that judgement should be delivered

within a period of 90 days.
• That Hon. Justice Umezulike, OFR, in Suit No E/159M/2014, Ezeuko Vs

Probate Registrar, High Court of Enugu State and 3 Ors ordered the arrest

of Mr.  Peter Eze by police and be brought before his Court after the

matter was amicably resolved and judgement entered on terms of Settlement.

• That the Hon. Chief Judge in a speech delivered by him to the Eastern

Bar Forum on Friday 4th March, 2016, openly made uncomplimentary remarks

containing vulgar language against the Petitioner, contrary to Rule 1.3 of

the National Judicial Council Revised Code of Conduct for Judicial

Officers.
• That at the time of the book launch of the Hon. Chief Judge, donation of

N10 million was made by Prince Arthur Eze during the pendency of the two

cases in His Lordship's Court, both of which Prince Arthur Eze has vested

interest.
• That there have been many instances of abuse of Judicial powers, by the

Chief Judge, particularly against the two defendants in Suits Nos.

E/6/2013 and E/88/2016.  The Chief Judge clung to these two suits to

remain in his Court, despite all genuine efforts made by the defendants to

get the suits transferred to another Court.
• That the Chief Judge sitting at a vantage position of Senior Judicial

Officer and Head of Court for that matter, should not have allowed his

emotions to dictate his judicial functions to the detriment of the

defendants in both suits.
In the case of Hon. Justice Kabiru Auta of the High Court of Justice, Kano

State, he was recommended to the Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi

Umar Ganduje, for dismissal and be handed over to the police for

prosecution following the findings of the Council on the allegations

levelled against him by Alhaji Kabiru Yakassai as follows:-

• That the Petitioner paid the sum of N125, 000.000.00 (One Hundred and

Twenty-five Million Naira) into an account approved by the Hon. Judge.

• The Petitioner also made cash payment of N72,000,000.00 (Seventy-five

Million Naira) to Hon. Justice Auta in several instalments through his

Personal Assistant, Abdullahi Bello, ostensibly for the purpose of

assisting a former Chief Justice of Nigeria who had just been appointed to

secure accommodation and for the Petitioner to be in turn rewarded by the

award of some contracts by the said Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria.

• That Hon. Justice Auta facilitated telephone communications in his house

between the Petitioner and purportedly the former Hon. Chief Justice of

Nigeria on the other end.
• That Hon. Justice Auta facilitated meetings between the Petitioner and a

lady who introduced herself as the purported Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria

in a Prado Jeep, escorted by armed Police Officer in a hotel in Kaduna.

• That after the Petitioner suspected foul play and reported the matter to

the police, Hon. Justice Auta agreed to pay the Petitioner the sum of N95,

000.000.00 (Ninety-five Million Naira) as part of his claim while Abubakar

Mahdi was to pay the sum of N125, 000.000.00 (One Hundred and Twenty-five

Million Naira) to the Petitioner.
• That pursuant to the agreement, Hon. Justice Auta made a part payment of

$11, 000.00 (Eleven Thousand U. S. Dollars) and N16,000.000.00 (Sixteen

Million Naira) cash to the Petitioner and undertook to pay the balance

before the commencement of the Fact Finding Committee set up by the

National Judicial Council to investigate the allegations.

• That Hon. Justice Kabiru Auta admitted accepting to pay the money as

agreed in AIG's Office in Kano according to him “having suffered

humiliation, and incarceration and had nowhere to go for help and in order

to protect my image and the image of the judiciary”.  He however, said

that the settlement was for him to  pay N35 million and not N95 million

and that to that effect, he paid N20 million so far including the

$11,000.00; and
• That Hon. Justice Kabiru stated in his evidence, that the purpose of the

Petitioner visiting his house at times was that as a friend, he used to

seek favours for his people who had matters before him, a conduct that is

in itself self-indicting and a serious abuse of Judicial Oath.

• The above allegations against the three Judicial Officers constitute

misconduct contrary to Section 292 (1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the

Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended and Rules 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 2.1,

3.2, 3.7, 4.1, 4.2, 8.4a, 13.1, 15.2 of the 2016 Revised Code of Conduct

for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the National Judicial Council, in the exercise of its

disciplinary powers under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of

Nigeria, as amended, has suspended Hon. Justice Mohammed Ladan Tsamiya,

Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, Hon. Justice I.

A. Umezulike, OFR, Chief Judge of Enugu State and  Hon. Justice Kabiru

Auta of Kano State High Court from Office with immediate effect, pending

the approval of the recommendations of the Council for their compulsory

retirement and dismissal respectively, from office by the President of the

Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR; Governor Lawrence

Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, OFR,

of Kano State, respectively.”
The post CORRUPTION: NJC Sacks Three Judges appeared first on Pointblank News .


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