The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Ibrahim Auta, has approved the redeployment of 11 judges of various divisions of the court.
Justice Okon Abang of the Abuja Division, who has handled several controversial cases, and Justice Mohammed Liman of the Port Harcourt Division, who was among the judges arrested by the State Security Services in October last year, are among the judges affected.
In a circular dated December 21, 2016 and addressed to “All Judges of Federal High Court,” Mr. Liman was redeployed from Port Harcourt to Enugu Division, while Mr. Abang was redeployed from Abuja to Asaba Division in Delta State.
According to Punch Newspapers, the circular directed the affected judges to resume at their new stations by January 30.
The Chief Judge gave “the recent developments in the court” as the reason for the posting.
“In view of the fact some divisions are currently short of judges following the recent developments in the court, it has become necessary to take urgent steps to fill in existing vacancies”, it read in part.
“Affected judges are expected to resume in their new divisions by January 30, 2017.
“The judges shall continue with the hearing of criminal cases currently before them, as well as at least two witnesses have testified.”
Other judges affected include S. Saidu (Lagos to Port Harcourt); A.O. Faji (Asaba to Lagos); R. M. Aikawa (Sokoto to Lagos); B.O. Quadri (Port Harcourt to Abuja); and Mallong Hoommuk (Port Harcourt to Lafia).
Others are K.K. Dagat (Lagos to Kano); Saleh Idrissa (Kano to Sokoto); H.I. Oshomah (Lafia to Port Harcourt) and Justice J.K. Omotosho (Kano to Port Harcourt).