Justice Abdulkareem Babatunde Abdulrasaq of the Osun State High Court and the Grand Kadi of Yobe State Grand Kadi Shu’aibu A. Talba, have been recommended for retirement with immediate effect by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
Exercising of its disciplinary powers under the Constitution, the NJC has suspended both judicial officers from office pending the approval of the recommendation of their compulsory retirements by the governors in their respective states.
The Council took the decision at its 93rd virtual meeting on December 16, 2020, during which it rejected 18 petitions against 14 judges and equally recommended the appointment of 69 more.
NJC spokesman Soji Oye, who made these public in a statement yesterday, said the meeting also recommended the promotion of 70 council employees.
Talba, according to the statement, “was recommended for compulsory retirement following an investigation into a petition against him written by one Malam Zakar Adamu, Chairman, Movement for Justice in Nigeria, alleging that His Lordship falsified his age on two occasions, i.e. from 1st February, 1955 to 27th August, 1955 and later to 30th December, 1959.
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“Findings revealed that he was supposed to have retired on 1st February, 2020 by virtue of his declared date of birth of 1st February 1955.
“Council, after deliberation, decided to recommend His Lordship’s compulsory retirement to Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.
“Furthermore, Council requested the Government of Yobe State to deduct all salaries received by His Lordship from 1st February, 2020 till date, from his gratuity, and remit same to the National Judicial Council that pays salaries of all Judicial Officers in the Federation.”
The NJC recommended Abdulrasaq’s compulsory retired after considering a petition written against him by Chief Yomi Alliyu (SAN) and found merit in his allegation Justice Abdulrasaq “falsified his date of birth from 3rd September, 1955 to 3rd September, 1957.
“Council, therefore, recommended His Lordship’s compulsory retirement to Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State with effect from 3rd September, 2020. It also requested the Osun State Government to deduct from His Lordship gratuity; salaries received by him from 3rd September, 2020, and remit same to the National Judicial Council.”
Those against whom petitions were dismissed include: Justices Simon A. Amobeda, Taiwo O. Taiwo, Nnamdi Dimgba and R. O. Dugbo Oghoghorie (of the Federal High Court); T. O. Uloho and Michael N. Obi (of the Delta State High Court), and G. M. Onyeabo ( of the Lagos State High Court).
Others are: Justices A. I. Iyayi-Lamikanra ( Chief Judge, Rivers State), A. U. Kingsley-Chuku and Justice J. N. Ukpugwnum (of the River State High Court), F. B. Andetur (Chief Judge, Taraba State), Comfort C. Ani (Enugu State High Court), M. A. Pindiga (Gombe State High Court) and M. M. Umar (Kebbi State High Court).
The statement went further: “Similarly, Council considered the Report of the Interview Committee and recommended the appointment of 69 judicial officers as Heads of Court, Judges of High Court of states, Kadis of States/FCT Sharia Courts of Appeal and Judges of the Customary Courts of Appeal.
“In another development, Council also received and approved the Report of its Committee on Appointments, Promotion and Discipline which recommended the promotion of 70 members of staff of the NJC.
“The notifications of retirement of 12 judicial officers and notifications of death of three judges of federal and state courts were also received and noted by council.”