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Lawyer sues CJN, NJC, seeks recall of suspended judges

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By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

ABUJA— An Abuja-based legal practitioner, Mr. Olugbenga Adeyemi, has dragged the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, and National Judicial Council, NJC, before the Federal High Court in Abuja for failing to recall suspended judges, who were yet to be linked with any act of corruption.

Those the plaintiff is seeking their recall to the bench are Justice Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court, Adeniyi Ademola of Federal High Court Abuja, Agbadu Fishim of National Industrial Court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, and Justice Musa H. Kurya of Federal High Court, Jos.

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They were among superior court judges that were arrested and detained after a “sting operation” conducted by the Department of State Service, DSS, last year.

Though the NJC, under the leadership of retired CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, initially refused to suspend the affected judges, however, it eventually succumbed to pressure from the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, and asked the judges to temporarily step-down from the bench pending determination of corruption allegations against them.

While the Federal Government, through the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, preferred corruption charges against some of the judges, it had yet to initiate any proceeding against some of them.

Meanwhile, the plaintiff, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/398/2017, is asking the court to make an order directing the CJN and NJC to immediately reinstate or recall all the judicial officers who have no case pending against them, to their respective courts.

The plaintiff equally applied for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further suspending the affected judges until the final determination of the suit.

Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.

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