The Chief Judge of Taraba State, Justice F. B. Andetur, has been ordered to vacate his office with immediate effect by the National Judicial Council, NJC.
Nigeriacrime.com gathered that the Council, which is headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Kayode Ariwoola, ordered the Taraba CJ to hand over to the next most senior Judge in the state.
The NJC said it had at the end of a meeting it held on March 16, recommended the compulsory retirement of the CJ, following the findings of a Committee that investigated a petition that was lodged against him.
The legal body said the Committee found merit in the petition that was brought against Justice Andetur by Senator Muhammed Sanusi Dagash.
It stated that the Taraba CJ suppressed judgement by failing to deliver his verdict in Suit No: TRSJ/134/17: Mallam Kassim Yahaya Ahmad Vs Shittu Wurmo & Shuwari Farms Limited, 30 months after all the parties adopted their final addresses.
“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.
“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.
“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.
Meanwhile, the Council disclosed that it has set up Committees to probe four petitions pending against some judges.
Even though it did not disclose the identities of the judicial officers under probe, the NJC, however, revealed that the case against them was among seven petitions that were brought before it, out of which three were dismissed.
“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”.
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.
“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”, the statement further read.