]Amidst public outcry against the judgements and utterances of some lower and appellate court justices, the National Judicial Commission (NJC) has begun a self-cleansing of the Bench.
The first of such justices to incur the wrath of the NJC is Justice Moore Aseimo Abraham Adumein of the Court of Appeal who issued a controversial order in the Kano State governorship appeal.
LEADERSHIP learnt that Justice Adumein is to face sanction for his inability to discover and address a typographical error in the controversial judgement.
The authoritative source said many Nigerians who were commenting on the Kano judgement were yet to read it and added that the error in the verdict was an honest clerical error.
He said notwithstanding, he (judge) has to pay for his mistake.
“Many Nigerians who are talking about the judgement have not read it. The error in the judgment was a clerical error but I am not making excuses for him; he is going to answer for it because ignorance is no excuse in law, he will take responsibility for It.
“The error in that judgement occurred from the clerk who worked on it. The judge did not read the conclusion of the judgment after it was worked on by the secretary. The judge and the secretary who worked on it have to face the consequences,” he insisted.
The source further said it is only in the judiciary that erring judicial officers are named and shamed.
According to him, by this, the judiciary is more transparent that the two other arms of government.
He said the NJC does not in any way shield its justices who are found to have committed infractions.
The source said, “About 98 percent of petitions against justices are frivolous but the ones they find merit in, are investigated and the judges are either suspended or dismissed.
” The NJC pays the salaries of all the judges in the federation and that is why we are able to discipline them when they are found guilty. NJC is like a court to the justices because both the complainant and the judge are represented by a lawyer, where all the issues are argued.
“After listening to them, they will either dismiss the petition or sanction the judge, depending on the argument put forward. Most of the cases against the judges at the NJC are supposed to go to the Appeal Court.
“It is only the judiciary that names and shames its own, other arms of government don’t do that. The judiciary is more transparent than other arms of government,” he declared.
Also, last night a source in the council confirmed to LEADERSHIP that the screening of the new justices of the Supreme Court had started.
LEADERSHIP had exclusively reported yesterday that the screening of the 22 justices for the apex court bench would begin in Abuja on Tuesday (yesterday).
The source said the exercise cannot be concluded in a day.
Appeal Court Affirms Rivers, Taraba, Sokoto Governors’ Elections
Meanwhile the Appeal Court sitting in Lagos has affirmed the election of Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara.
Also, the division of the court sitting in Abuja affirmed the elections of Governor Ahmed Aliyu of Sokoto State and his Taraba Sate counterpart Kefas Agbu.
The court dismissed the appeal of the appellants and affirmed their elections.
At the Lagos division of the court, in a unanimous decision, the election of Governor Fubara was upheld.
The court affirmed the judgment of the election petitions tribunal, which dismissed the four separate appeals filed by Tonye Cole of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Beatrice Itubo of the Labour Party (LP), Innocent Ekwu of the Allied People’s Movement (APM) and Lulu Briggs Dumo of the Accord Party.
The APC candidate, who was present in the courtroom yesterday, wanted the court to direct the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare him the winner of the March governorship election in Rivers.
The lower tribunal had in October dismissed the petition of Cole challenging the election of Fubara as the governor of the state.
The tribunal dismissed the petition, saying that the APC which sponsored Cole had withdrawn the petition against Fubara’s victory.
In the case of Governor Ahmed Aliyu of Sokoto State, the court dismissed the case filed by his main challenger, Sai’du Umar, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the election.
The court said the appellant failed to prove his allegations against Aliyu in the suit marked CA/S/EP/GOV/SK/30/2023.
The court also dismissed the petition filed by Sani Yahaya of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) against the election of Governor kefas Agbu of the PDP In Taraba State.
Yahaya and his party had challenged the result of the March 18 governorship election on the grounds of non-compliance with the Electoral Act, stating that Agbu didn’t score the majority of lawful votes cast.
But delivering judgement yesterday, the appellate court held that the reliefs sought by the NNPP candidate were inconsistent having faulted the outcome of the polls on grounds of non-compliance with the Electoral Act, yet praying the court to declare him the winner of the same election.
In a related matter, the Court of Appeal in Abuja sacked the Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Mr. Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi.
In the judgement, the court declared the PDP candidate, Hon. Sa’ad Abdullahi Ibrahim (Turakin-Opanda), as the rightful winner of the election for Umaisha/Ugya State Constituency.