NJC Summons Three Under-Performing Judges

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On Wednesday, the National Judicial Council reported that it had summoned three High Court judges to explain their under-performance. The NJC however did not mention the names of the affected judges. The Council said the judges were summoned following the report of its Committee on Performance Evaluation of Judicial Officers of Superior Courts of Record in the Federation. A statement by the Acting Director, Information Unit, of the NJC, Mr. Soji Oye, on Wednesday said the three judges were from two states. The statement also failed to disclose the states of the judges and the criteria for the evaluation of the judges’ performance. Oye said in the statement that the NJC took the decision to summon the affected judges at its 73rd meeting. Details of a series of information about the identities of judges, courts and states affected by the NJC at the said meeting were not disclosed. For instance, the statement also stated that the NJC had placed embargo on appointment of judges for a Total of 26 courts due to insufficient workload but it did not disclose the affected courts, which it said had been placed under the NJC’s “Freeze list.” The NJC also said in its statement that it had recommended three head judges of State High Court and a Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal to their respective State governors for appointments. But neither the identities of the recommended judges nor their states were disclosed in the statement. Oye also said two candidates forwarded to the Council by “a State Judicial Service Commission for appointment” as High Court judges were rejected after they failed the NJC Interview. But the identities of the judges and the states involved were not disclosed in the statement. No NJC official contacted by our Correspondent was forthcoming with the details of the Council’s decisions. The statement partly read, “The National Judicial Council, under the chairmanship of the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Mahmud Mohammed, GCON, at its 73rd meeting, considered the report submitted by its Committee on Performance Evaluation of Judicial Officers of Superior Courts of Record in the Federation and decided to invite three High Court Judges from two states to appear before it for low performance and show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against them.”

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