The National Judicial Council (NJC) on Tuesday been urged to prioritise the investigation of the corruption allegations against the Kogi Chief Judge, Justice Nasiru Ajanah
Naija News reports that the NJC has been urged to carry out the investigation without further delay.
The Executive Secretary, Anti-Corruption and Research-Based Data Initiative (ARDI), Chief Dennis Aghanya made the call while speaking to newsmen on Tuesday, May 14 in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The anti-corruption body recently gained popularity when its initiated the investigation of the non-assets declaration allegations against Justice Walter Onnoghen, former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
Aghnanya said the organization was worried by the slow nature of the council toward investigating the fraud allegations brought against the Kogi CJ.
“Gentlemen and ladies of the press, we wish to bring to your notice our petition submitted today to the Acting CJN and the chairman of the NJC against the NJC.
“The bone of contention in our petition is our dissatisfaction over the manner the NJC is handling the petition submitted to it by the Kogi Governor on the recommendation of the Kogi House of Assembly.
“The assembly has recommended the sacking of the State Chief Judge, Justice Nasiru Ajanah for alleged gross misconduct.
“While our petition to the NJC is not a pronouncement of guilt against his Lordship, Justice Ajanah, we frown at the pattern the NJC seem to be adopting in cases brought before it against serving judges.
“In its efforts to find a lasting peace in the face-off between the Kogi State Judicial workers and the executive arm of government,” he said.
Aghanya, however, said: “the NJC left unaddressed the substance of the indictment against the State Chief Judge to merely address the administrative dispute, thereby giving the embattled Chief Judge a soft landing.”
“You may recall that in addressing the petition of the EFCC against the former CJN, Justice Walter Onneghen, the NJC had recommended a soft landing to President Buhari by suggesting that he be retired or sacked.
“We commend the President for not succumbing to such recommendation. Justice is better left to run its full course.
“We consider this pattern of soft landing as dangerous precedence by the NJC. It should learn to call a spade a spade so that justice can actually be seen to be dispensed,” Aghanya said.
Aghanya further said: “another dangerous dimension to the NJC’s approach is that it delays verdicts for petitions brought before it.”
“Like in the case of Kogi, a recommendation of the State Assembly assented to by the state Governor is supposed to be effective.
“But in the magnanimity of the state Governor he chose to still write the NJC in obedience to the stipulations of the law.
“Rather than reciprocate this gesture the NJC has chosen to unnecessarily delay verdict on the crucial aspect of the matter,” he said.