The National Judicial Council (NJC), chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Kayode Ariwoola, has suspended the Chief Judge of the Taraba State High Court, Justice F. B. Andetur, with immediate effect while recommending his compulsory retirement from the judiciary.
The NJC reached the decision during its 101st meeting of 16 March 2023, after discovering that the judge did not deliver judgment on a matter 30 months after lawyers in the case had filed their final addresses.
The final written address is the last stage in litigation, after which the judge adjourns for judgment.
“Hon. Justice Andetur was recommended for compulsory retirement following the findings of an Investigation Committee to a petition written against him by Senator Muhammed Sanusi Dagash, that His Lordship suppressed judgement by failing to deliver judgement in Suit No: TRSJ/134/17: Mallam Kassim Yahaya Ahmad Vs Shittu Wurmo & Shuwari Farms Limited 30 months after adoption of final addresses by the parties.
“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 the 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 stated in a statement published on its official website, signed by Soji Oye, the NJC Director of Information.
The council also set up a committee to probe four other judges based on petitions instituted against them.
“Council considered the Report of one of its Complaints Assessment Committees and agreed with the Committee’s recommendation to empanel four Committees to further investigate four of the seven petitions forwarded to it, and dismissed three others.
“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,” the statement partly read.
Furthermore, the NJC said it considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee and at the end of deliberation, recommended the appointment of six Heads of Court and five Judges of Plateau State High Court.
Their list are as follows:
CHIEF JUDGE, BENUE STATE
i) Hon. Justice Ikpambese Maurice Ahemba
CHIEF JUDGE, ADAMAWA STATE
i) Hon. Justice Hafsat Abdulrahman
CHIEF JUDGE, KWARA STATE
i) Hon. Justice Abiodun Ayodele Adebara
CHIEF JUDGE, OYO STATE
i) Hon. Justice Iyabo Subulade Yerima
GRAND KADI, SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL, ADAMAWA STATE
i) Hon. Kadi Ibrahim Wakili Sudi
PRESIDENT, CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL, ADAMAWA STATE
i) Hon. Justice Audu James Balami
FIVE (5) JUDGES, HIGH COURT, PLATEAU STATE
i) Charles Donglong
ii) Ashahabu Suleiman Wase
iii) Shikamma Kassam Sheltu
iv) Mary Abah Izam
vi) Nanle Titus Komak.