The National Judicial Council has recommended appointment of more judges for the Supreme Court and other various courts.
A statement by the Director of Information of the NJC, Mr Soji Oye, on Thursday, stated that the council made the recommendation at its second virtual meeting held on August 11 and 12, 2020.
Oye said the council at the meeting presided by its Chairman who is also the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, recommended a total of 22 judicial officers across various courts, including the Supreme Court, which has been seeing a steady decline in the number of its Justices in the last two years.
The recommended candidates for the Supreme Court bench which currently has 12 Justices, will add to the list of four others whom the NJC had recommended to President Muhammadu Buhari since last year.
The 22 judicial officers newly recommended by the NJC are for appointment as Justices of the apex court, and as heads of other courts, judges of High Court states, Kadis of states Sharia courts and judges of Customary Courts of Appeal.
Oye stated that the recommendation of the 22 candidates for appointment followed the council’s consideration of “the Report of its Interview Committee”.
The appointments of the 22 candidates are to take effect after the approval of either Buhari or the governors of the relevant states, as the case may be.
The statement added that the council also issued “a warning letter to Hon. Justice K. N. Ogbonnaya of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory following its findings on the petition written against him by Dr. Uchechukwu Samson Ogah, OON, that His Lordship refused to release a copy of Judgment delivered to the petitioner within the constitutionally prescribed period of seven days.”
The statement however added that the council dismissed the petition sent against 17 judges.
“In the same vein, Council also dismissed a petition written by Mrs Ademujimi Adenike Nancy against Hon. Justice Sunday Olorundahunsi for want of merit.
“Council also considered the Report of Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee on petitions written against the following 16 Judicial Officers and dismissed the allegations levelled against” them, on the grounds that the petitions were “either lacking in merit or being subjudice”.
The 16 other exonerated judges include, the Chief Judges of Ekiti and Kwara states, Justices Ayodele Daramola and Sulyman Kawu, respectively.
The rest include four judges of the Federal High Court, Justices I. N. Oweibo, Hadiza R. Shagari, Ijeoma L. Ojukwu, Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa; two Lagos State High Court judges – Justices B. A. Oke-Lawal, O. A. Ogala; a judge of the Cross River State High Court, Justice Augusta Uche Kingsley-Chukwu, a judge of the Nasarawa State High Court, Justice Mustapha A. Ramat; as well as two judges of the Kaduna State High Court, Justices M. M. Ladan and Muhammed Lawal Bello.
The rest are a judge of the Bauchi State High Court, Justice Adamu M. Kafin Madaki, a Bayelsa State High Court judge, Justice L. M. Boufini, as well as a Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal, Borno State, and Kadi Goni Kur.
According to the statement, the council “also received the final report of the Judicial Ethics Committee and other Ad-Hoc Committees set up.”
It added, “Council also received the notification of retirement of thirteen judges and notification of death of six judges of States High Courts and Sharia Court of Appeal.”