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The National Judicial Council (NJC) yesterday in Abuja recommended the compulsory retirement of the Chief Judge of Taraba State High Court, Justice Philibus F. B. Andetur, with immediate effect.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, presided over the NJC’s meeting where the decision was taken.

Justice Andetur was recommended for compulsory retirement following his indictment in a petition written against him by Senator Muhammed Sanusi Dagash.

Dagash had in the petition accused the embattled Chief Judge of suppressing judgment by failing to deliver judgment in Suit No: TRSJ/134/17 involving Mallam Kassim Yahaya Ahmad Vs Shittu Wurmo & Shuwari Farms Limited.

Though the law stipulates three months to deliver judgment after adoption of final addresses, Justice Andetur was said to have suppressed the judgment delivery for 30 months after adoption of final addresses by the parties.

The NJC, after deliberation, found that the Chief Judge breached the provisions of S.294 (1) of the 1999 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, has suspended Justice Andetur from office pending his compulsory retirement.

A statement by NJC’s Director of Information, Mr. Soji Oye, said Justice Andetur should hand over to the next most senior Judge in the state.

The statement also said the 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 while it dismissed three others.

“One of the three petitions 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 Judicial officers are no longer under the disciplinary control of the Council,” the statement added.

Similarly, the Council was said to have 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:

The Heads of Courts are Justice Ikpambese Maurice Ahemba as Chief Judge for Benue State; Justice Hafsat Abdulrahman as Chief Judge for Adamawa State, Justice Abiodun Ayodele Adebara as Chief Judge for Kwara State, Justice Iyabo Subulade Yerima as Chief Judge for Oyo State; Hon. Kadi Ibrahim Wakili Sudi as Grand Kadi for Sharia Court of Appeal, Adamawa State and Hon. Justice Audu James Balami as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Adamawa State.

Five Judges were recommended for High Court of Plateau State and they are: Charles Donglong, Ashahabu Suleiman Wase, Shikamma Kassam Sheltu, Mary Abah Izam and Nanle Titus Komak

The statement further explained that the NJC received notification of retirements of eight Judicial Officers of the Federal and State Courts and notification of death of a Court of Appeal Justice.

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