The National Judicial Council, NJC, has barred judges being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for alleged corruption, from sitting. No fewer than two judges are being affected by the development, which came as a shock to the suspects, reports Vanguard
Those affected by the latest order by the NJC are: Justice H.A Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court and Justice Agbadu James Fishim of the National Industrial court. Both were among indicted judicial officers whom the NJC had in November 2016 barred from performing judicial duties until the anticipated cases against them are concluded. But the Council inexplicably lifted the order after its meeting of June 1, 2017, and directed the indicted judicial officers against whom no charges had been filed, to return to their posts.
However, the EFCC charged Justice Nganjiwa and Justice Fishim to court on June 8 and June 21 respectively while both men continued to sit on the bench while being prosecuted for alleged corruption. Sources at the NJC disclosed that the council mindful of the ethical dilemma that confronts the officers has since reviewed the situation and ordered the heads of their respective courts to direct the two judges to stop sitting in line with council’s decision of 1st and 2nd November, 2016, as charges have now been filed against them”.
The directive has already been communicated to the investigative agencies. It was also leant that Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court, who is also standing trial for corruption, remains suspended from judicial duties as she was not among the officers recalled by the NJC on June 1, as the basis for the council’s decision to recall the indicted judges did not apply in her case, having already been charged to court by the EFCC.