'You cannot remove CJ', Kogi High Court tellls Bello, Assembly

Kogi High Court sitting in Koton-Karfe on Tuesday June 18 ruled that


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'You cannot remove CJ', Kogi High Court tellls Bello, Assembly

 

Kogi High Court sitting in Koton-Karfe on Tuesday June 18 ruled that Governor Bello led  Executive and State Legislature cannot remove the State Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah without the recourse of the National Judicial Council (NJC) .

Justice Alaba Omolaye-Ajileye, the Presiding Judge, made the declaration in his judgment on the suit NO HC/KK/11CV/2018 brought against the Assembly, the Governor and three others by Justice Ajanah and the Chief Registrar, Alhaji Yahaya Adamu.

The Presiding Judge also declared that the Chief Registrar of the State High Court held a statutory position as the accounting officer of the Judiciary and was therefore not subject to the control and supervision of either the Executive or the Legislature.

Fresh Angle International reports that the judicial officers had approached the court to challenge the powers of the defendants to remove the Chief Judge and punish the Chief Registrar over refusal to be investigated by the House of Assembly.

Omolaye-Ajileye who granted all the reliefs and declarations sought by the claimants in the suit said “By item 21 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution (As Amended), the National Judicial Council (NJC) is the body empowered to exercise disciplinary control over all Judicial Officers of Nigeria. It is also said that the NJC established under Section 153(i) of the constitution (as amended), that has the power to recommend to the Governor, the removal of a judicial officer. Where a Chief Judge of a State is to be removed, for whatever reason, it is the NJC, not the State House of Assembly that is empowered to make recommendations to the Governor of a State under item 21(d) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution. To allow only the House of Assembly and the governor of a state to remove a Chief Judge of a state or any judicial officer for the that matter, without the input of the NJC, will be monstrous and outrageous as it is capable of destroying the very substratum of justice and introducing a system of servitude, utterly inconsistent with the constitutional independence of judges”.

It would be recalled that, the Kogi State House of Assembly on April 2, 2019 recommended the removal of the Chief Judge and sanctions on the Chief Registrar following the adoption of the report and recommendations of  an ad-hoc  committee set up by the sixth Assembly.






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