……Appointment of 69 Judicial Officers
By Ogechi Okorie
Abuja (Precise Post) – The main reason why the National Judicial Council (NJC) recommended the compulsory retirement of the Grand Kadi of Yobe State, Justice Shu’aibu Talba, and a judge of the Osun State High Court, Justice Abdulkareem Abdulrasaq, was due to alleged age falsification.
The decision for the immediate retirement of the judicial officers was taken at the 93rd meeting of the NJC, which held virtually on December 16, 2020.
However, the body also at the same meeting recommended the appointment of 69 other judicial officers to enhance justice delivery in the country.
A statement by the Director, Information at the NJC, Mr. Soji Oye, noted that Talba was recommended for compulsory retirement following an investigation into a petition against him by one Malam Zakar Adamu, Chairman of the Movement for Justice in Nigeria.
The statement alleged that Talba falsified his age on two occasions, i.e. from February 1, 1955 to August 27, 1955, and later to December 30, 1959.
“Findings revealed that he was supposed to have retired on February 1, 2020, by virtue of his declared date of birth of February 1, 1955.
“Council, after deliberation decided to recommend His Lordship’s compulsory retirement to Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.
“Furthermore, the council requested the Government of Yobe State to deduct all salaries received by His Lordship from February 1, 2020 till date, from his gratuity, and remit same to the National Judicial Council that pays salaries of all judicial officers in the Federation,” the statement said.
Regarding Abdulrasaq, the statement said following an investigation into a petition against him by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Yomi Aliyu, it was discovered that he falsified his date of birth from September 3, 1955, to September 3, 1957.
“Council, therefore, recommended His Lordship’s compulsory retirement to Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State with effect from September 3, 2020.
“It also requested the Osun State Government to deduct from His Lordship gratuity, salaries received by him from September 3, 2020, and remit same to the National Judicial Council,” Oye said.
Meanwhile, the body, in exercising its disciplinary powers under the 1999 Constitution, has suspended both Talba and Justice Abdulrasaq from office pending the approval of the recommendation of their compulsory retirements by their respective governors.
However, the NJC dismissed 18 petitions against 14 judicial officers for lacking in merit.
It stated: “Similarly, the council considered the Report of the Interview Committee and recommended the appointment of 69 judicial officers as heads of court, judges of High Court of States, Kadis of States/FCT Sharia Courts of Appeal and judges of the Customary Courts of Appeal.
“In another development, the council also received and approved the Report of its Committee on Appointments, Promotion and Discipline which recommended the promotion of 70 members of staff of the National Judicial Council.”
The NJC also acknowledged the notifications of the retirement of 12 judicial officers and notifications of death of judges of the federal and state courts.