The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the compulsory retirement of Justice Michael Goji of the High Court of Adamawa State for refusing to proceed on transfer to the Mubi Judicial Division of the State High Court since July, 2017.
Soji Oye, NJC spokesman, in a statement, on Thursday said, Justice Goji’s recommendation for compulsory retirement to the Jigawa state governor, Bindo Umaru Jibrilla followed advice from the State Judicial Service Commission to the NJC.
Justice Walter Onnoghen, The Chief Justiceof Nigeria (CJN), following the complaint of the retired judge’s misconduct from the Adamawa State Chief Judge, constituted a committee to investigate the judge.
Outside retirement, the Council also directed that the Judge refund all the salaries he received from July, 2017 till date, failing which the Adamawa State Government shall deduct the amount from any entitlement due to him and remit same to the NJC, which pays salaries of all Judicial Officers in the country.
Other issues deliberated at the 86th meeting of the Council, which held on 8 and 9, 2018 are the reports of various Investigation Committees and dismissed petitions written against Justices Paul Adamu Galinje of the Supreme Court, Aminu Sabo Ringim, Chief Judge, Jigawa State, and Justice Peter Umeadi, Chief Judge, Enugu State.
The petition against Justice Paul Galinje was dismissed sequel to its withdrawal by Hon Yaro Abarshi and Hon. John Yobi Yarafa and others, who alleged that he interfered in a Chieftaincy matter in Taraba State.
The petition against Justice Aminu Sabo Ringim was also dismissed because the Petitioner, Dr Jamil Gwamna withdrew it, adding that the allegation was that the Judge ordered the arrest, assault, and detention of staff of Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) when they disconnected the electricity at the State High Court and the Judge’s house for non-payment of bills.
The Committee that investigated the matter found that the Petitioner could not show or prove that Justice Ringim instructed or directed the arrest of KEDCO’s staff.
Oye said petitions written against 25 Judicial Officers and others by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were also considered by Council after which it resolved to empanel seven Committees to look into the allegations.
NJC also dismissed petitions against Justices Anwuli I. Chikere and John . Tsoho, Emeka Nwite and Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Justice Adetokunbo Banjoko of FCT High Court. Justice Taminu Zailani, Chief Judge, Kaduna, Justice M. A. Adeigbe, High Court, Osun State (who had already retired from the Bench), and Justice E. N. Ogbuiji, High Court, Rivers State for lack of establishment of misconduct, being subjudice or that such petitions were matters for appeal.
Council at the Meeting also recommended 21 Judges for appointment as Chief Judges, Grand Kadi, High Court Judges, Sharia Court Kadis, President, Customary Court of Appeal, and one member of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
The NJC also received the Report of the Performance Evaluation Committee of Judicial Officers of Superior Courts of Record in the Federation on 16 Judges invited by the Committee to explain their low performance in the last two to four quarters in the year 2017.