NJC considers petitions against 23 judges across the federation

BY IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI

ABUJA — Determined to weed out corrupt judges from the Bench, the National Judicial Council, NJC, has opened investigation into allegations of judicial impropriety leveled against 23 judges in Nigeria.

Vanguard reliably gathered, yesterday, that the justices under the probe radar include those from various divisions of the Federal High Court that allegedly issued frivolous ex-parte orders to soothe varying political interests.

Others include seven appeal court justices, four state high court judges, five magistrates and two justices of the Supreme Court who were said to have compromised standard while they were still on the appellate court Bench.

Already, a top official of the NJC, who spoke to Vanguard on grounds of anonymity, yesterday, said the Council had directed some of the accused justices to enter  their defence of specific petitions against them.

It will be recalled that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mariam Aloma Murhktar, recently expressed worry over the increasing number of petitions against judges flooding the NJC.

She noted that “a public uproar against the judgement of a court of record is not to the credit of the judiciary.”

Speaking at a workshop organised for judges by the National Judicial Institute, NJI, the CJN, lamented: “I have heard the aphorism a couple of times that in the court, the rich get bail while the poor get jailed. To what extent have we as judges turned justice as within the reach of the highest bidder?”

She warned: “Any judge found to be comp- licit in the writing and delivery of a judgement, the NJC, as the constitutional regulatory body will not hesitate to wield the big stick.”

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