The Presidency has restated its decision to appeal a judgement by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory that acquitted one of the six judges recalled by the National Judicial Council, Justice Adeniyi Ademola.
Mr. Ademola and seven other judges were suspended in November 2016 after a raid on their homes by the State Security Service.
Three of the affected judges were charged to court for alleged corruption, but only Mr. Ademola’s case has so far been concluded. The judge was acquitted of corruption charges.
He and five other judges were recalled by the council on Saturday, after the 82nd meeting of the NJC, which ended on June, 1.
In a statement on Thursday, by the Special Assistant on Prosecution to President Muhammadu Buhari, Okoi Obon-Obla, the presidency said the council cannot deny that it is aware of the pending appeal, dated April, 5.
“Last Saturday the National Judicial Council (NJC) controversially decided to rescind its previous decision to suspend some Judges that were standing trials and or under investigation by law enforcement agencies.
“I want to debunk the false impression created in some sections of the media that the NJC was not aware or that there was no appeal filed by the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation against the ruling of Honourable Justice Jude Okeke of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja dated the 5th April, 2017 in Charge No. CR/21/2016 between Federal Republic of Nigeria versus Adeniyi Francis Adetokunbo Ademola and two others which discharged and acquitted the defendants.Nothing can be further from the truth.
“Indeed, the Office of the Honourable General of the Federation filed notices of appeal against the ruling of Honourable Justice Jude Okeke of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja over his ruling discharging and acquitting the three defendants on the 7th April, 2017.”
The statement adds that the appeal court had already invited parties on June 6 to reconcile documents for the appeal.
“Accordingly, the Court of Appeal pursuant to Order 8 Rule 2 (a) of the Court of Appeal Rules has invited Counsel to the Appellant (the Federal Republic of Nigeria) and the Respondents to attend Court on the 6th June 2017 to reconcile documents for record of appeal.
“I therefore state without fear of contradiction that the appeal against the ruling of Honourable Justice Jude Okeke of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja discharging and acquitting the defendants Charge No. CR/21/2016 between Federal Republic of Nigeria versus Adeniyi Francis Adetokunbo Ademola and two others is pending before the Court of Appeal,” the statement said.
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