Lagos lawyer and human rights campaigner, Femi Falana, has commended the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Aloma Muktar, for trying to ‘restore confidence’ on the Judiciary.
Mr. Falana, who spoke on Thursday in Abuja, was reacting to the outcome of the emergency meeting of the National Judicial Council which held on Wednesday under the leadership of Ms. Muktar and recommended the immediate retirement of two high court judges: Clement Archibong and Thomas Naaron for gross judicial misconduct.
The NJC also advised the Nigerian Bar Association to set the engine in motion for the discipline of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Otunba Kalejaiye, who was indicted along with Justice Naron in the perversion of justice before the defunct Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
According to Mr. Falana, Ms. Muktar deserves even more commendation “having regard to the fact that the petition against Justice Naaron was lodged with the NJC in 2007”.
Mr. Falana said the CJN “deserves commendation for plucking up the courage to determine the matter in spite of the desperate moves of certain powerful forces to cover up the judicial scandal”.
“No doubt, these actions are in line with the undertaking made to Nigerians during the screening of the Honourable Justice Muktar before the Senate,” the lawyer said.
He said with the decision, the NJC has sent a clear message that the days of judicial impunity are over.
“We therefore call on President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Jonah Jang to approve the retirement of Justice Archibong and Justice Naaron respectively as recommended by the NJC,” he added.
Mr. Falana also called on the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, to collaborate and team up with the NJC to purge the Bar and the Bench of corrupt lawyers and judges so as to reposition the Judiciary to discharge its constitutional duties to the Nigerian people.
Mr. Falana equally commended the Federal High Court in Abuja for dismissing what he described as “the vexatious applications filed by Abdulrasheed Maina designed to shield him from arrest and prosecution for multi-billion fraud”.
He therefore called on the Nigeria Police Force to ask Mr. Maina’s Lawyers to produce him.
“Since they have been taking instructions from him from his hideout they are presumed to know his where about,” he said.