NJC suspends Taraba CJ from office, urges Gov Ishaku to sack him

The National Judicial Council, (NJC), has sacked the Chief Judge of Taraba State, Justice F. B. Andetur, and mandated him to vacate his office with immediate effect.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Kayode Ariwoola, who is the head of the Council, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, ordered the Taraba CJ to handover to the next most senior Judge in the state.

The statement made available to journalists, said the Council, at the end of its meeting on March 16, recommended the compulsory retirement of Andetur following findings of a committee set up to investigate a petition brought against him by Senator Muhammed Sanusi Dagash.

The legal body said the investigative panel had found merit in the petition which claimed Andetur had suppressed judgement in failing to deliver his verdict in a “suit between one Mallam Kassim Yahaya Ahmad vs Shittu Wurmo & Shuwari Farms Limited, 30 months after all the parties adopted their final addresses.”

Part of the statement said the “Council, after deliberation found that the Hon. Chief Judge breached the provisions of S.294(1) of the Constitution and therefore recommended him for compulsory retirement with immediate effect to Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku of Taraba State.”

It added: “In the interim, the Council, in exercise of its disciplinary powers under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, is suspending Hon. Justice Andetur from office pending his compulsory retirement.

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“He is to hand over to the next most senior Judge in the State”, the NJC added in the statement that was signed by its Director, Information, Mr. Soji Oye.”

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The NJC also disclosed a committee had been set up to probe four petitions pending against some unnamed judges, and that the case against them was among seven petitions that were brought before it, out of which three were dismissed.

Similarly, the Council recommended the appointment of six Heads of Court and five Judges of Plateau State High Court presented by its Interview Committee.

It gave names of those recommended for appointment as judges of the Plateau State, such as; Charles Donglong, Ashahabu Suleiman Wase, Shikamma Kassam Sheltu, Mary Abah Izam, and Nanle Titus Komak.

It added: “One of the three was dismissed for being subjudice and the remaining two were dismissed because the Judicial Officers had retired from service, and by virtue of Rule 18(2) (h) of the National Judicial Council Judicial Discipline Regulations 2017, the Respondent Judicial Officers are no longer under the disciplinary control of the Council.

“Similarly, Council considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee and at the end of the deliberation, recommended the appointment of six Heads of Court and five Judges of Plateau State High Court as follows:

“Chief Judge of Benue State; Hon. Justice Ikpambese Maurice Ahemba; Chief Judge, Adamawa State, Hon. Justice Hafsat Abdulrahman.

“Chief Judge, Kwara state, Hon. Justice Abiodun Ayodele Adebara; Chief Judge, Oyo State, Hon. Justice Iyabo Subulade Yerima; Grand Kadi, Sharia Court of Appeal, Adamawa State, Hon. Kadi Ibrahim Wakili Sudi, as well as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Adamawa State, Hon. Justice Audu James Balami.

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“The notification of retirements of eight Judicial Officers of the Federal and State Courts and notification of the death of a Court of Appeal Justice were also received and noted by Council.”

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