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Rot in judiciary: NJC recommends dismissal, prosecution of Abia judge

Justice Walter Onnoghen Chief Justice of Nigeria…presided over the NJC meeting

*Two Lagos judges get warning letters

National Judicial Council (NJC) Friday fired two judges and warned another two over judicial misconduct.

According to the spokesperson of the council, Mr. Soji Oye, the council at the end of its 80th meeting under the chairmanship of the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, recommended the dismissal of Justice Ugbo Ononogbo of the Abia State High Court of Justice and the compulsory retirement from office of Justice Nasir Gummi of Zamfara State High Court of Justice with immediate effect.

The council also resolved to issue a letter of strong warning to Justice D. O. Oluwayemi of Lagos State Judiciary for granting an Ex-parte Order in Suit No: LD/2393LMW/16, relying on an Affidavit of urgency which disclosed no threat of destruction of rights, or interest, in the subject matter of the dispute without putting the other party on notice.

Also, another letter of warning will be issued by the Council to Justice M. A. Savage of High Court of Lagos State, for holding discussion with Complainant’s Counsel in Suit No: LD/179/2000 which he had judicially acted upon, and for serving as a bridge between him and the other party’s Counsel.

The council recommended the dismissal of Ononogbo to the Governor of Abia State, pursuant to the findings that the judge made a blanket order for the payment of unascertained amount as Estate fee from the Access Bank Account of late Chief Dike Udensi Ifegwu to the Probate Registrar of the High Court.

The Assistant Chief Registrar, Probate Division of the Court, Mr. Udeka U. C., was said to have altered the Order of the Hon. Judge in a letter to Access Bank requesting the bank to release the sum of N200 million only into the personal account of E. M. Ojiako, counsel to the Applicant in the suit.

The Judge was also alleged to have granted a second Order to vacate the first Order directing the bank to pay any money assessed by the Probate Registrar for the Estate fee of late Lord Chief Dike Udensi Ifegwu into the personal account of E. M. Ojiako, Esq, without ascertaining the Assessment made by the Probate Registrar.

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