The National Judicial Council has recommended that Justice F. B. Andetur, the chief judge of the Taraba State High Court, be forced into early retirement.
Soji Oye, the NJC’s director of information, said in a statement on Friday that the recommendation came after the NJC’s 101st meeting, which was conducted on March 16, 2023, and was presided over by Justice Kayode Ariwoola.
According to reports, Judge Andetur had been recommended for mandatory retirement as a result of an inquiry committee’s report on a petition Senator Muhammad Sanusi Dagash had filed against him.
The chief judge was accused of suppressing judgement by failing to deliver judgement in Suit No: TRSJ/134/17: Mallam Kassim Yahaya Ahmad Vs Shittu Wurmo & Shuwari Farms Limited 30 months after adoption of final addresses by the parties.
The NJC reportedly also considered the report of one of its Complaints Assessment Committees and agreed with the committee’s recommendation to empanel four committees to further investigate four of the seven petitions forwarded to it, and dismissed three others.
In a related development, the council considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee and at the end of deliberation, recommended the appointment of six Heads of Court and five Judges of Plateau State High Court.
See the full statement below:
17 MARCH 2023 – NJC RECOMMENDS THE COMPULSORY RETIREMENT OF A CHIEF JUDGE; · EMPANELS COMMITTEES TO INVESTIGATE FOUR JUDICIAL OFFICERS; · RECOMMENDS THE APPOINTMENT OF SIX HEADS OF COURT AND FIVE HIGH COURT JUDGES.
The National Judicial Council under the Chairmanship of Hon. Justice Kayode Ariwoola, GCON, at its 101st Meeting of 16 March 2023 has recommended the compulsory retirement of Hon. Justice F. B. Andetur, the Chief Judge of Taraba State High Court with immediate effect.
Hon. Justice Andetur was recommended for compulsory retirement following the findings of an Investigation Committee to a petition written against him by Senator Muhammed Sanusi Dagash, that His Lordship suppressed judgement by failing to deliver judgement in Suit No: TRSJ/134/17: Mallam Kassim Yahaya Ahmad Vs Shittu Wurmo & Shuwari Farms Limited 30 months after adoption of final addresses by the parties.
Council after deliberation found that the Hon. Chief Judge breached the provisions of S.294(1) of the Constitution and therefore recommended him for compulsory retirement with immediate effect to Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku of Taraba State.
In the interim, the Council in exercise of its disciplinary powers under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, is suspending Hon. Justice Andetur from office pending his compulsory retirement. He is to hand over to the next most senior Judge in the State.
REPORT OF THE PRELIMINARY COMPLAINTS ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE:
Council considered the Report of one of its Complaints Assessment Committees and agreed with the Committee’s recommendation to empanel four Committees to further investigate four of the seven petitions forwarded to it, and dismissed three others. One of the three, was dismissed for being subjudice and the remaining two were dismissed because the Judicial Officers had retired from service, and by virtue of Rule 18(2) (h) of the National Judicial Council Judicial Discipline Regulations 2017, the Respondent Judicial Officers are no longer under the disciplinary control of the Council.
Similarly, Council considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee and at the end of deliberation, recommended the appointment of six Heads of Court and five Judges of Plateau State High Court as follows:
1. CHIEF JUDGE, BENUE STATE
i) Hon. Justice Ikpambese Maurice Ahemba
2. CHIEF JUDGE, ADAMAWA STATE
i) Hon. Justice Hafsat Abdulrahman
3. CHIEF JUDGE, KWARA STATE
i) Hon. Justice Abiodun Ayodele Adebara
4. CHIEF JUDGE, OYO STATE
i) Hon. Justice Iyabo Subulade Yerima
5. GRAND KADI, SHARIA COURT OF APPEAL, ADAMAWA STATE
i) Hon. Kadi Ibrahim Wakili Sudi
6. PRESIDENT, CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL, ADAMAWA STATE
i) Hon. Justice Audu James Balami
7. FIVE (5) JUDGES, HIGH COURT, PLATEAU STATE
i) Charles Donglong
ii) Ashahabu Suleiman Wase
iii) Shikamma Kassam Sheltu
iv) Mary Abah Izam
vi) Nanle Titus Komak
NOTIFICATION OF RETIREMENTS AND DEATH:
The notification of retirements of eight Judicial Officers of the Federal and State Courts and notification of death of a Court of Appeal Justice were also received and noted by Council.
Soji Oye, Esq