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NJC issues warning to judges over misconduct as it proposes 15 appointments

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The National Judicial Council (NJC) has issued warning letters to two High Court judges in the FCT and Kaduna judiciaries over their alleged acts of misconduct.

The NJC took the decision at its 97th meeting held on March 15 and 16, 2022, the council’s Director of Information, Soji Oye, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.

The meeting presided by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, who doubles as the chairperson of the NJC, also recommended 15 judicial appointments including six court heads, the statement added.

One of the erring judges, Muawiyah Baba Idris, of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja was issued a warning letter and placed on the council’s “watch list” for a period of one year.

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NJC found Mr Idris wanting for signing the Writ of Possession for execution on the same day he delivered judgment in suit No. FCT/HC/CV/FT/36/19 between Sicons Nigeria Ltd V Nile Place Restaurant and Catering Services Ltd.

Mr Oye said the council agreed with the findings of the committee that investigated the judge that his action was in contravention of the proviso to Order 27 Rule (16) (b) High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Civil Procedure Rules 2018 and Order 4 (1) and (2) of the Judgment Enforcement Rules 2004.

The council also issued a warning letter to M. M. Ladan of the High Court of Kaduna State having found merit in the petition written against him in Suit No. KDH/KAD/1321/2018 between VTLS Inc. Vs Ahmadu Bello University.

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Mr Ladan was said to have signed the Writ of Attachment while the Garnishee Order Nisi was pending.

Meanwhile, the council at its meeting also considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee and recommended 15 successful candidates as heads of courts and other judicial officers in Nigeria.

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All recommended candidates are expected to be sworn in after an approval by President Muhammadu Buhari, and their respective state governors and confirmation by the National Assembly and the respective State House of Assemblies as the case may be.

The statement also revealed that members also considered the reports of various committees and noted the notification of retirements of 23 judicial officers of the Federal and State Courts and notification of death of one State High Court judge.

See full list of 15 recommended appointments

1. CHIEF JUDGE, PLATEAU STATE
i) Hon. Justice David Gwong Mann

2. CHIEF JUDGE, GOMBE STATE
i) Hon. Justice Joseph Ahmed Awak

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3. GRAND KADI, SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL, KADUNA STATE
i) Hon. Kadi Abdurrahman Umar Abubakar
4. GRAND KADI, SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL, TARABA STATE
i) Hon. Kadi Shuaibu Dahiru Ahmad
5. PRESIDENT, CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL, RIVERS STATE
i) Hon. Justice Ihemnacho Wilfred Obuzor

6. PRESIDENT, CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL, CROSS RIVER STATE
i) Hon. Justice Sampson Mbeh Anjor
7. SIX (6) JUDGES, FEDERAL HIGH COURT
i) Bala Khalifa-Mohammed Usman
ii) Emmanuel Gakko
iii) Aminu Garba
iv) Musa Sulaiman Liman
v) Ahmad Gama Mahmud
vi) Segun-Bello Mabel Taiye
8. ONE (1) JUDGE, HIGH COURT, FCT, ABUJA
i) Joseph Adebayo Aina

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9. ONE (1) KADI, SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL, TARABA STATE
i) Sallau Ismaila Madugu

10. ONE (1) JUDGE, CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL, TARABA
i) Bulus Samuelson Nyiputen

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Crime

ICYMI: Oba of Benin accuses EFCC of corruption

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Oba of Benin, Ewuare II has alleged that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is aiding crimes in the country.

The monarch made the allegations when he received the new Benin Zonal Director of EFCC, Effa Okim in his Palace in Benin on Monday.

He cited a case involving unnamed former palace officials who were left off the hook after they were arrested for fraud and handed over to EFCC in Benin for investigation and prosecution.

The Oba alleged that some EFCC operatives allegedly handled the case with kid gloves, which led to the release of the culprits a few years ago.

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The monarch, who did not name the palace officials, expressed shock that the EFCC investigators allegedly swept glaring evidence of fraud against them (the palace officials) under the carpet.

While tasking the commission to fight crime without fear or favour, the Oba added,” We want to draw your attention to one or two grey areas in your operations”.

“No matter how much you try to support the EFFC from the palace, It is very difficult because they seem to listen to other parties. What I have been told is that they take instructions from the highest bidder.

“You know that I have been known for speaking the truth. I was not happy about certain things that happened with your predecessor.

“We get news from everywhere. We try to assist the EFCC. I even wrote a letter to the then-chairman who was removed from office.

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“I even sent an emissary to talk to him regarding certain elements in Edo State, particularly the palace.

“How can EFCC operatives, especially, the lady who handled the case I cited earlier behave like that? If I was asked to comment on her performance, I would score her zero. I do not know if she was doing an EFCC job or just dancing to the tunes of people who were giving her money.

“At the time we were trying to assist EFCC, the report we kept getting was negative and I was not happy about it,” Oba Ewuare II added.

The monarch, however, said the newly appointed Chairman of EFCC, Olanipekun Olukayode is on the path to greatness if he continues to demonstrate fidelity in his duties.

He also pledged the palace’s support to the state government in addressing social inequality and reducing social vices.

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Earlier in his address, Okim appealed to the Oba to support advocacy against financial crimes with Edo State ranking second behind Lagos State in the financial crime index in the country.

Recalling the historical ties between his state of origin, Cross River and Edo State, he solicited prayers and royal blessings to enable him to discharge his duties diligently.

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ICYMI: ‘Go and bring husband to daddy,’ Ooni of Ife tells daughter at 30

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The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has taken to social media to celebrate his daughter, Adeola, who turns 30 on May 20.

Ogunwusi, in his post on Monday, prayed to God to be with his daughter and asked her to bring a man home for marriage because she was ripe for it.

The revered monarch reeled out his expectations to her every 10 years, saying that when she was 10, he spoke to her about school and the future, and when she turned 20, it was about listening and understanding the importance of morals and well-being. But now that she is 30, she should bring a man home for marriage.

He wrote, “Princess Adeola, Aanuoluwapo, Atutunini, Bamdefe Ogunwusi, Omo Ojaja II. I am truly grateful for the fulfilling life you have lived. May God Almighty continue to be with you in all your endeavours. Amen!

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“When you turned 10, your father would talk to you about school and your future. At 20, he encouraged you to listen and understand the importance of morals and well-being, even as you sought independence.

“Now that you are 30, you are a grown woman. Your father senses that you no longer wish to be advised as independence has finally set in.

“I talked 10 to you and got your subtle independent behaviour in return. I talked 20 to you, and I still got your near-obvious independence behaviour in return. Now I’m talking 30 to a grown woman, so go and bring husband to daddy. With love from the throne of Oduduwa.

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“Congratulations, and may God continue to guide you in all your pursuits,” he wrote.

However, the post has been greeted by warm reception from Nigerians as some men have begun to show interest in the daughter of the revered monarch.

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One user on Instagram who identified with the handle, KaybabaofHouston, said, “Daddy, please tag her. Let us begin to show our interest in her.”

ArosoIbitoye said, “Awesome! I have handsome boys here who will be willing to be inlaw to the king, sir.”

Rydow said, “Men mount. Where is her handle? I have single friends who are serious.”

“I want to marry your daughter sir,” one Ronnietthreads wrote.

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Abuja shopping complex shut after assault on soldiers

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Officers of the Nigeria Army have reportedly shut Banex Plaza, a shopping complex located in the Wuse 2 area of the Federal Capital Territory, following attacks on some of its personnel over the weekend.

A trader at the nearby Emab Plaza, simply known as Mr Somto, confirmed this to our correspondent via phone call on Monday.

“Yes, Banex is locked down. We are not affected by it though. And some men of the army are here”, he said.

Another shop owner, who runs an Apple products store at the complex, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, also confirmed the development, adding that they were still in talks with the army.

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“No, we are not open. You know because of the issue that happened, the army has locked down the place. At each gate of Banex now, there is a Hilux vehicle, an army Hilux. They won’t even let you cross the place.

“But maybe between tomorrow and next, it will be open, we don’t know. We are still on it, having meetings with them”, he said

Theheute reports that the FCT Police Command on Saturday, deployed officers of the Intelligence Response Team to the area after a conflict ensued between traders and some soldiers.

A viral video seen by our correspondent on X showed a multitude of civilians overpowering some soldiers during a free-for-all at Banex.

The FCT Police Command, in a statement by its spokesperson, Josephine Adeh, later on Saturday night, said the police had restored peace in the affected area, adding that a buyer had gone with four soldiers to demand a refund after the purchased phone developed faults, which the shop owner resisted.

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“This action resulted in a confrontation and squabble with the military officer. This development led some irate youths to attack the military officer which led to an uproar in the environs”, the statement read.

Meanwhile, personnel of the Nigeria Army, in a reprisal, reportedly stormed the plaza on Saturday evening, beating passersby and manning guards, while a circulating video also showed the soldiers punishing some individuals.

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