The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the compulsory retirement of Justice S. O. Falola of Osun State High Court from the Bench.
The Director of Information, NJC, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that the recommendation was made sequel to the findings of an Investigation Committee in a petition written against His Lordship by Mr Dapo Olowo and Polaris Bank.
Falola had granted a Garnishee Order Absolute against the Bank for the sum of N283,174,000.00 in a questionable and strange manner.
He equally endorsed the order, attaching the account of the garnishee with another garnishee and not the account of the judgment debtor who had the legal obligation to pay the supposed judgement sum.
The committee found out that the Judge misconducted himself by entertaining suit No HIK/41/2018 when there was no evidence of a judgement of the Kwara State High Court before him, neither was there a Certificate of Registration of same in Osun State to confer jurisdiction on him.
It further found out that the conduct of the subject Judge travelled to Lagos to visit the Counsel of the bank in his Chambers on the issue of garnishee proceedings, unbecoming of the standard expected of a judicial officer.
Consequently, the council resolved to recommend him to Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State for compulsory retirement with immediate effect.
It said y in the exercise of its disciplinary powers under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, the NJC has suspended Falola from office pending the approval of the recommendation of his compulsory retirement by the governor.
The Council also considered the reports of other Investigation Committees that had concluded their sittings, and dismissed the petitions written against some judges for being unmeritorious, or withdrawal of petition by the petitioners.
They are Justices Ekaete F. F. Obot, Chief Judge, Akwa Ibom State, Benson C. Anya of High Court Abia State, Z. B. Abubakar of Federal High Court, Opufaa Ben-Whyte and Augusta Uche K. Chuku of the High Court of Rivers State.
However, Justice A. I. Akobi of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory is to be issued a letter of guidance to take proper charge and control of his court.
The Plenary also considered the report of its three Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committees on 51 fresh petitions written against Federal and State Judicial Officers.
It thereafter, decided to constitute 11 panels to investigate petitions that had merits and dismissed the remaining petitions for being subjudice, having been withdrawn, and the subject judges having retired from service.
The Council also resolved to report A. A. Aribisala, SAN to Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) for investigation and disciplinary action, for the unpalatable and derogatory remarks he made against a judicial officer and by extension, the NJC in his petition to the council.
It considered and declined the request of Gov. Ademola Adeleke of Osun State requesting its permission to swear in the next most senior judge in the state in the acting capacity, following allegations levelled against Justice Adepele Ojo, Chief Judge, Osun State and the resolution of the State House of Assembly to suspend him.
The Council affirmed that Ojo is still the recognised Chief Judge of Osun State, and would not work on the resolution of a State House of Assembly, as it is the only body constitutionally empowered to investigate judicial officers and recommend same for any action to the Governor. Consequently, Osun State should revert to status quo.
It also received notification of retirements of seven judicial officers and notification of deaths of six serving judicial officers of the federal and state courts.