HOPE for faster dispensation of justice has brightened.
The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the appointment of 22 judges, including Justices of the Supreme Court, heads of courts, among others, across the country.
The NJC also recommended the elevation of four Justices of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court, making eight the appointment of such Justices recommended for the apex court since last October.
The council, on October 23, 2019, announced that it recommended four Justices of the Court of Appeal for elevation to the Supreme Court, a recommendation President Muhammadu Buhari has not acted on.
Those earlier recommended justices are: Justice Adamu Jauro (Northeast Zone), Justice Emmanuel A. Agim (Southsouth), Justice C. Oseji (Southsouth) and Justice Helen M. Ogunwumiju (Southwest).
The latest recommendation formed part of the decisions by the NJC at its second virtual meeting held on August 11 and 12 and chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad.
After considering the report of its Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee on Petitions, the NJC dismissed the allegations of misconduct levelled against 16 judges, for either lacking in merit or for being subjudice.
A statement by NJC’s spokesman Soji Oye said the council’s plenary resolved to issue warning letter to Justice K. N. Ogbonnaya of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), following its findings on the petition written against him by Dr. Uchechukwu Samson Ogah.
Ogah had accused Justice Ogbonnaya of refusing to release a copy of the judgment delivered to the petitioner within the constitutionally prescribed period of seven days.
The judges, against whom the NJC dismissed allegations of misconduct include: Chief Judge of Ekiti State, Justice Ayodele Daramola; his Kwara State counterpart, Sulyman Kawu; former Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court and now judge of the High Court of Ondo State, Justice Sunday Olorundahunsi; Justices I. N. Oweibo, Hadiza R. Shagari, Ijeoma L. Ojukwu and Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa (all of the Federal High Court).
Others are: Justices B. A. Oke-Lawal, O. A. Ogala (of the Lagos State High Court), Justice Augusta Uche Kingsley-Chukwu (High Court of Rivers State), Justice Mustapha A. Ramat (High Court, Nasarawa State), Justices M. M. Ladan and Muhammed Lawal Bello (both of the High Court of Kaduna State), Justice Adamu M. Kafin Madaki (High Court of Bauchi State), Justice L. M. Boufini (High Court, Bayelsa State) and Kadi Goni Kur (Sharia Court of Appeal, Borno State).
The statement added: “Similarly, at the meeting, council considered the report of its Interview Committee and recommended 22 judicial officers as justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Heads of Court, judges of High Court of States, Kadis of States’ Sharia Courts of Appeal and judges of Customary Courts of Appeal.