NJC bars three Judges from promotion over conflicting ex-parte orders

NJC bars three Judges from promotion over conflicting ex-parte orders NJC bars three Judges from promotion over conflicting ex-parte orders

The National Judicial Council has barred the three Judges of Courts of concurrent jurisdiction who granted conflicting Exparte Orders in matters with same parties and subject matter from promotion to higher Bench for a period ranging from two to five years whenever they are due.

Even though there was no written petition, allegations of corruption or impropriety against the Judges, the NJC initiated investigation pursuant to its inherent disciplinary powers under the Constitution to unravel the circumstances that led to the spate of Exparte Orders granted by these Courts of coordinate jurisdiction.

In it’s meeting chaired by the Deputy Chairman of Council, Justice Mary Peter-Odili agreed with the recommendations of the Investigation Committee set up in September 2021 that Justice Okogbule Gbasam of the High Court of Rivers State be barred from elevation to higher Bench for two years whenever he is due, as he failed to exercise due diligence in granting the Exparte Order

The NJC also resolved that Justice Nusirat I. Umar of the High Court of Kebbi State be barred from elevation to higher Bench for two years whenever due, having found fundamental defects and non-compliance with the law in granting the Exparte Order

He was also issued with a warning letter to be circumspect in granting such Exparte Orders in the future.

Justice Edem Ita Kooffreh of the High Court of Cross River State will not be promoted to higher Bench for five years for allowing himself to be used as a tool for “forum shopping” and abuse of Court process in Suit No: HC/240/2021 between Mr. ENANG KANUM WANI AND UCHE SECONDUS as it was evident that, in granting the Exparte Order, he was seized of earlier Orders of the High Courts of Rivers and Kebbi States, being Courts of coordinate jurisdiction with his.

He is also to receive warning letter to be circumspect in granting such Exparte Orders in the future.

The Council also placed him on its Watch-List for a period of two years.

Meanwhile, the Council approved the appointment of 63 Judges for 16 States, 9 of which are Heads of Court.

 

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