Nigerian judge faces compulsory retirement for falsifying age

NJC Building
NJC Building

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the compulsory retirement of two High Court judges for misconduct.

The judges are O. Gbaja-Biamila of the Lagos State High Court and Idris Evuti of the Niger State High Court.

The Council’s decision is contained in a statement issued in Abuja Tuesday and signed by the Acting Director of Information of the council, Soji Oye.

According to the statement, the recommendation for Mr. Gbaja-Biamila’s retirement is as a result of allegations contained in a petition against him by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, C. A Candide Johnson.

The allegation was that Mr. Gbaja-Biamila delivered judgment in Suit No. ID/1279/ P. K Ojo Vs SDV and SCOA Nigeria Plc, 22-months after written addresses were adopted by all the counsel and 35 months after the close of evidence in the suit.

The statement said the action of the judge was contrary to the constitutional provisions that judgments should be delivered within 90 days.

Mr. Evuti was alleged to have falsified the date of his birth from Sept. 15, 1950 to April 10, 1953.

According to the statement, a fact-finding committee set up by the council found from the records made available to it that the judge used three different dates of birth.

It said the council recommended to the Government of Niger State, the deduction of all salaries received by Mr. Evuti from September 2015 till date from his gratuity and remit same to the NJC that pays judicial officers in the federation.

In a similar issue, the council also recommended that Justice Tanko Usman of the Niger State High Court, who retired in March 1, should refund salaries received from June 2015 when he ought to have retired.

The statement said the council decided to write to the Niger State Government to deduct the salaries received by him from June 2015 when he was supposed to have retired from the bench.

It said that the council at same meeting exonerated Hon. Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court, Lagos, over allegations of misconduct levelled against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

It noted that the allegations could not be substantiated.


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