By John Ikani
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, has ordered disciplinary action against a Judge of the Upper Area Court in Abuja who recently issued a direct criminal summons against, Charles Soludo.
This directive was issued to the Judicial Service Committee (JSC) under the Chairmanship of the Acting Chief Judge of the FCT, Justice Husseini Yusuf-Baba last week and confirmed to newsmen by the spokesperson of the NJC, Soji Oye.
Mr Soludo, who is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the forthcoming election in Anambra State, is a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The Upper Area Court presided over by Gambo Garba had on August 23, 2021, issued a direct criminal summons against Soludo over perjury, corruption, and false assets declaration, which is completely outside the jurisdiction of the Upper Area Court.
Trial on criminal charges on false declaration of assets is exclusively vested in the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) but the Upper Area Court Judge assumed jurisdiction contrary to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
The acting Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory is expected to submit his findings to the CJN within 21 days.
What you should know
From all indications, Justice Muhammad, seems determined to put an end to impunity and misconduct in the judiciary.”
This is as a lot of concerns have been expressed by lawyers and other stakeholders over the spate of some questionable judicial pronouncements, especially with the granting of conflicting ex-parte injunctions by some of these judicial officers in courts of coordinate jurisdiction.
Justice Muhammed on September 6, 2021, met on September 6 with the Chief Judges of the FCT, Rivers, Kebbi, Cross Rivers, Jigawa, Anambra and Imo states and directed some of them to admonish judges in their jurisdictions on the danger of granting ex-parte injunctions.
The CJN after meeting with the Chief Judges referred three judges to the NJC for investigation over their grant of conflicting ex-parte injunctions on political cases.