The NJC has asked the Abia judge to retire.
Some prominent lawyers on Tuesday differed on the prosecution of Acting Chief Judge of Abia, Shadrack Nwanosike, who was found guilty of falsifying his age.
The National Judicial Council (NJC) had at its 63rd Meeting, held on July 17 and 18, 2013, recommended Mr. Nwanosike for compulsory retirement.
The lawyers, in interviews in Lagos, unanimously commended the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, for her efforts in sanitising the nation’s judiciary.
Onyekachi Ubani, Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, said the issue of a judge falsifying his age was disgraceful.
“What the NJC is doing now is praise worthy. It shows that there is hope in this country. The beauty about it is that somebody is being punished for it, which was not the case in the past.
“However, it is not sufficient to just dismiss him, he should be prosecuted,” Mr. Ubani said.
A lawyer and activist, Fred Agbaje, said Mr. Nwanosike’s involvement in forgery was an embarrassment to the judiciary.
Agbaje said: “He is the head of judges in that state and if he could be found to have falsified his age, he is not eligible to remain there a day longer.
“Apart from asking him to just retire, the NJC should go further to prosecute him because falsification of age is a criminal offence.”
Another lawyer, Wale Ogunade, also called for the prosecution of the judge.
“It is only in Nigeria that we sentimentalise things. There is no one who is above the law.
“The judge knew what he was doing from the onset. So, now that he has been caught, he should face the law.
“The issue of immunity does not come in because he is a judge. His action is not in consonance with his position as a lawyer first and foremost, then as a judge,” Mr. Ogunade said.
However, a constitutional lawyer, Itse Sagay, said Mr. Nwanosike’s dismissal and probably the forfeiture of his pension, were enough punishment for the offence.
Sagay said: “I think the punishment is enough. Let him go and savour the disgrace that he has been thrown in.
“For a man to give false age in order to continue in employment, that man doesn’t have integrity, he doesn’t have honour.
“He is a man whose judgment can be purchased because he has no values and no ethics.”
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