The National Judicial Council, on Tuesday, announced that it has sanctioned two Niger state High Court judges for falsifying their dates of birth and a Lagos State High Court judge for delaying judgment in a lawsuit for 22 months.
According to a statement released by the NJC’s Acting Director of Information, Soji Oye, the judicial council has also advised the Lagos and Niger state governments to send the judges on compulsory retirement and for their gratuity to be deducted.
The names of the judges are: Justice Idris Evuti (Niger state High Court), Justice Tanko Usman (Niger state High Court), and Justice O. Gbajabiamila (of Lagos state High Court).
“Council also considered a petition written by Mohammed Idris Eggun against Hon. Justices Idris M. J. Evuti and Tanko Yusuf Usman of the High Court of Niger State on falsification of their dates of birth.”
“A fact-finding committee set up by the council found from the records made available to it that the Hon. Justice Evuti used three different dates of birth over the years as 15th September, 1950, 10th April, 1953 and 1st April, 1953 and therefore recommended his compulsory retirement with immediate effect.”
“Apart from the recommendation for compulsory retirement of Hon. Justice Idris M. J. Evuti, Council recommended to the Government of Niger State to deduct all salaries received by him from September, 2015 till date from his gratuity and remit same to the National Judicial Council that pays salaries of all Judicial Officers in the Federation.
“With respect to the Hon. Justice Tanko Yusuf Usman, Council did not recommend his compulsory retirement because it had already accepted his retirement with effect from March 1, 2016.
“However, Council decided to write to the Government of Niger State, to deduct from the gratuity the salaries received by him from June 2015 when His Lordship should have retired from the bench.”
On the case of Justice Gbajabiamila of Lagos State High Court, the NJC stated that: “Hon. Justice O. Gbajabiamila was recommended for compulsory retirement from the Office to the Governor of Lagos State, pursuant to the findings by the Council on the allegations contained in the Petitions written against His Lordship by Mr. C. A. Candide Johnson, SAN.
“The allegations: That the Hon. Judge delivered judgment in Suit No. ID\\1279\\2007 P. K. Ojo Vs SDV & SCOA Nigeria Plc, 22 months after written addresses were adopted by all the counsel and 35 months after the close of evidence in the suit, contrary to the constitutional provisions that judgments should be delivered within a period of 90 days.”
“That His Lordship did not publish a copy of judgment he delivered on 24th December, 2013, until after 40 days, contrary to the provision of the constitution which required that a copy of the judgment of a Superior Court of Record be given to parties in the case within seven days of delivery.”
“That the Hon. Judge continued to hear the suit in his court after he had been notified of the pendency of a motion for a stay of execution at the Court of Appeal and that an appeal had been entered.”
“Prior to the issuance of the first writ of attachment, the Court Registrar under the direct administration of the Hon. Judge falsely misrepresented to the Deputy Sheriff in a memo dated 28th November, 2014, that there was no appeal or motion in the case file as at 28th November, 2014.”
“Meanwhile, there were two Notices of Appeal and two summons to settle records in the court’s file. That the Hon. Judge gave an order on 23rd February, 2015, upon an ex-parte application substituting the name of SDV Nigeria Ltd. with Bollore Logistics Nigeria Ltd. without serving the order of substitution on the affected party or its legal representatives.”