Nigeria sacks three top judges for fraud, misconduct


Nigeria’s regulatory body for the judiciary, the National Judicial Council, has recommended the compulsory retirement of three judges following allegations of fraud and other judicial misconduct.

The judges include the Chief Judge of Enugu State, A. I. umezulike; a presiding justice at the Court of Appeal in Kwara State, Mohammed Tsamiya; and Kabiru Auta of the Kano State High Court.

They were sacked by the NJC during the council’s 78th meeting held on September 29.

In a statement made available to journalists on Friday, the Council’s Director of Information; Soji Oye, said Justice Umezulike was accused of abusing his office and mistreating defendants.

The council made its findings against Mr. Umezulike following a petition by a lawyer, Peter Eze.

The findings include the following:

“That the Hon. Chief Judge failed to deliver Judgement in Suit in which final addresses were adopted on 23rd October, 2014, until the 9th day of March, 2015, about 126 days after addresses were adopted.”

The act goes contrary to constitutional provisions that judgement should be delivered within a period of 90 days after adoption of addresses.

The council also said Mr. Umezulike abused his privileges when he ordered the petitioner, Mr. Eze, to be arrested by police officers and brought to court, after an agreement had been reached on a matter before him and judgement entered on terms of settlement.

Mr. Umezulike was also accused of making defamatory statements in public against the petitioner, contrary to Rule 1.3 of the National Judicial Council Revised Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers.

“That there have been many instances of abuse of Judicial powers, by the Chief Judge, particularly against the two defendants in Suits Nos. E/6/2013 and E/88/2016. The Chief Judge clung to these two suits to remain in his Court, despite all genuine efforts made by the defendants to get the suits transferred to another Court.

“That the Chief Judge sitting at a vantage position of Senior Judicial Officer and Head of Court for that matter, should not have allowed his emotions to dictate his judicial functions to the detriment of the defendants in both suits,” the statement said.


On his part, Mr. Tsamiya was recommended for retirement for collecting a bribe of N200 million from an applicant to facilitate the processes for his case.

The findings were made following investigations into a petition by a certain Nnamdi Orji against Mr. Tsamiya and three other judges: Husseini Muktar, F. O. Akinbami and J. Y. Tukur.

The petitioner had alleged that the judges made contrasting decisions, in similar cases; in addition to allegations of fraud said to have been perpetrated by Mr. Tsamiya.

The council, in its findings said there was evidence that the petitioner met with Mr. Tsamiya thrice, in his residence in Sokoto, Abuja and Owerri where on each occasion, the judge demanded from the petitioner the sum of N200 million to influence the Court of Appeal Panel in Owerri or risk losing the case.

The council, however, found that there was no evidence of conflicting judgements against Mr. Tsamiya, as the cases referred to were different in content.

It also found that there was no evidence that the petitioner ever met or discussed with the other Justices – Mukhtar, Akinbami and Tukur – in respect of the appeal before them.

“It is in the Light of the foregoing that Hon. Justices Husseini Mukhtar (JCA), F. O. Akinbami(JCA) and J. Y. Tukur(JCA), were exonerated,” the statement said.


In the case of Mr. Auta of the High Court of Justice, Kano State, he was recommended to the State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, for dismissal for collecting N125 million from the petitioner.

The council said Mr. Auta is to be handed over to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 1, Kano, for prosecution.

He was found to have defrauded the petitioner in many ways, some of which Mr. Auta admitted to police officers.

“The petitioner also made cash payment of N72 million to Mr. Auta in several instalments through his Personal Assistant, Abdullahi Bello,” the statement said.

The payment was to assist a former Chief Justice of Nigeria who had just been appointed to secure accommodation and for the petitioner to be in turn rewarded by the award of some contracts by the said Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria.

The council said the allegations against the three Judicial Officers constitute misconduct contrary to Section 292 (1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended and subsections of rule Rules 1, 2, 3, 4 13 and 15 of the 2016 Revised Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers.

The judges were suspended pending the approval of their recommendation for retirement.


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  • vagabonds in power

    How did Bingo Buhari react when the Conference of Nigerian Civil Rights Activists, demanded the immediate removal of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, over his ownership of two properties in Dubai, the commercial nerve centre of the United Arab Emirates.

    Did they the Apes in APC not explain to us that the continued retention of Buratai in his position by President Muhammadu Buhari would rubbish the current anti-corruption crusade of the incumbent administration? Is it because this mumu Benue man is from the North Central that he is being chased all over the place?

    Bingo Buhari has continued to retain the Dubai thief despite the recent revelation of the procurement of properties in Dubai by the COAS as published by media houses in Nigeria-Is that alone not a dent on the integrity of the Buhari’s administration? Na Dame Jonathan ati other Ijaws from the Niger delta, una TRIPOD—-dey get power abi-? What about Amaechi-AISHA BUHARI-Fashola Fayemi—and Tinubu? Let this case serve as a lesson to the mumu people of Benue ati Plateau-who sold their birth right to the Fulanis———————in APC———————-now who has been put on trial for the murder of the Ibo farmers and that of Bernue ati Plateau-‘ Was the Minister of Internal Affairs sacked because of that–by Bingo Buhari?

    • Sadiq Yakubu

      If Buhari is a bingo and he remains the president of your entire miserable family,I’ll like to be another bingo and become the president.Omo ale jatijati

    • Osakue

      Look if you don’t like this govt which one you come like? GEJ? OBJ? Abi Na military you want?

  • Seyido

    It’s difficult to understand your points….please eliminate the abuse….

  • OMG Oodua

    What about Justice Okong Abang? He should Av been d first judge to be dismissed bcoz he is d most corrupt and biased judge in Nigeria today. But as long as he continues to favour APC in his judgement, he remains untouchable.

    • Mufu Ola

      Why? We are not talking of ‘under the bridge’ judgement here. State your facts against Abang.

    • Drama-King

      You are just blabbing. If I ask you to mention Okon Abang’s offence, I am sure you’ll be counting the ceiling.

  • Tunsj

    Most of them should be fired.

  • FreeNigeria

    Just 3?, should have been 75% of them

  • I didn’t see Judge Abang on this list. Abang should be top on the list.

    • Maduka Okoro

      What did Justice Okon Abang do? Because he sacked Okezie Ikpeazu who forged tax documents. NJC made a mistake in not sacking Justice Mary Odili who was corrupt and help Okezie Ikpeazu to win against Alex Otto in the supreme court when Ikpeazu never won election as Abia governor.

    • Drama-King

      You’re not a lawyer, so you’re permitted to reach uninformed conclusions. Just mention his offence, please.

    • abodes_124

      His turn is coming. They loo at all these cases in detail.

  • LadyRosely

    If Okon Abang isn’t here then it’s all nonsense

    • Drama-King

      What did Okon Abang do to you?

  • zygote

    recommended for retirement with pension, is that a sack? No trial, no prosecution.Fighting corruption indeed!

  • Realitytalk

    Way to go, the juduciary are also buying into reformation of PMB. we must clean pour system

  • easyman16

    This Are the element that has killed the faith of a bleeding soul that was supposed to be Healed by judges in nigeria judiciary systems.

  • SAM .A

    Whatever is goose for the goose is also good for the gander. PMB remember your promise that any body found wanting during your tenure will face the music . Why retiring this notorious judges ?While politicians , military officers and police heve been jailed in the past. We want to see these judges in hand cuffs and put behind bar . More than 50% of those wigged judges are corrupt . This slapped in the wrist punishment will never advance the course of fighting corruption in Nigeria . Nigeria is one gamut of corruption , with all your courts drowning with cases of corruption no single conviction.

    • abodes_124

      My understanding is that where criminal acts have been committed as part of the malfeasance the case has been referred to the police. Knowing our Police i doubt that thee cases will go anywhere as they will demand their share and close the matter. As we all know the most corrupt institutions in Nigeria are the Police and Customs service now joined by the EFCC.

    • Henry_Itopa

      This is the judiciary a different branch of government. Why must we always call the president’s name in every mastter?

  • Eldorad2000

    Breaking News: Today is 56th Independence day, Nigeria!



  • abodes_124

    This is what I call fighting corruption. Sober consideration of the facts. No wild newspaper announcements. No restriction as by time, party affiliation or ethnicity to those tried and found guilty. Judgement delivered stating the facts and basis of the judgement. This is the kind of judgement that will be a clear disincentive to others tempted to follow suit. This is the kind of judgement well meaning people will support and praise. This is the way to pursue corruption in high and low places. Present government please take note!

    • YOMBO

      No, it is under which govt that the judges were dismissed? Past govt, abi? Msheeewww.

  • Julius

    I hope they will be prosecuted as well !

  • Contact Point

    Am just so happy to read this. Nobody is above the law and this is the true meaning of it. This is change and the NJC have shown that “change begins with them” also and it begins with everyone of us. Thanks PMB for building confidence and discipline back to us.

  • zygote

    Sack not arrest? Some people are truly above the low.

  • omodondo

    Majority of Nigeria judges and lawyers not serious.. Corruption is their second name..