NJC recommends dismissal of two judges

Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia.<br />

The National Judicial Council (NJC) on Thursday recommended the dismissal of two judges to president Muhammadu Buhari over misconduct and money-laundering.

The judges are Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court and Justice James Agbadu-Fishim of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.

NJC said both judges had petitioned against them from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged malpractice.

“The National Judicial Council under the chairmanship of the Honourable Mr. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, GCON, at its 87th meeting which was held on 3rd October 2018, recommended the removal by dismissal from office, of Hon. Mr. Justice R. N. Ofili-Ajumogobia of the federal high court and Hon. Mr. Justice James T. Agbadu-Fishim of the national industrial court of Nigeria,” NJC said in a statement by its spokesman Soji Oye.

Oye explained that “Hon. Mr. Justice R. N. Ofili-Ajumogobia was recommended to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for removal by dismissal from office pursuant to the findings by the council on the allegations of misconduct contained in a petition to the Council by the Acting Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu,”

“Alleging that Hon. Mr. Justice R. N. Ofili-Ajumogobia is a Director/Chief Executive Officer and sole signatory to Nigel and Colive Company contrary to the code of conduct for judicial officers of the federal republic of Nigeria,”

The spokesman said “several personalities, individuals, government officials and business partners lodged funds into various accounts belonging to the Hon. Judge, and there was an ex-parte communication between the Hon. Judge and Mr. Godwin Oblah, SAN, during the pendency of his matter before his lordship.”

Oye said “The council, however, could not consider other allegations in the petition because they are already before a court where the judge is standing trial. Council left those matters for the trial to take its legal course.”

He stated that “Hon. Mr. Justice James T. Agbadu-Fishim of the national industrial court of Nigeria was also recommended for removal by dismissal from office sequel to the findings of the Council on the allegations contained in another petition by the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),”

“Alleging that the Hon. Judge received various sums of money from litigants and lawyers that had cases before him, and some influential Nigerians, under the false pretence that he was bereaved or that there was delay in the payment of his salary. This is contrary to the code of conduct for judicial officers of the federal republic of Nigeria.”

He stated that the council’s disciplinary powers under paragraph 21 (d) of the Third Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, has suspended both judges with immediate effect pending their removal from office by president Buhari.

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