Prominent human rights lawyers have given kudos to the National Judicial Council (NJC) over its recommendation made to President Goodluck Jonathan, to send some justices who have questionable past on compulsory retirement or outright sack.
The NJC rising from a nocturnal meeting Wednesday recommended some Judges who were considered controversial in their dispensation of justice recommended Justice, Thomas Naaron, Abubakar Talba and C.E. Archibong for compulsory retirement or outright sack to President Jonathan, for immediate action.
In a telephone interview with Nigeria Politics Online, Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Mr Festus Keyamo, said the he was full of praises for the NJC noting that their recommendation was a bold and courageous step towards cleansing the judiciary saying: “I support it in all its entirety, because that recommendation is a bold step and courageous attempts at cleansing the judiciary.”
Corroborating Keyamo, Mr Wahab Shittu, who is also human rights activists noted that the decision arrived at by the NJC was a positive step in the right direction designed to sanitize the judiciary adding that the recommendation would have a far reaching effect.
Shittu noted if acted upon by the by President Goodluck Jonathan, as recommended by the Council, the recommendation will have a far reaching effect as it would arose confidence in the administration of justice in the country.
According to the activist, before such action was taken by the Council the Judges must have made representations to the judicial body in the spirit of fair hearing and they came out questionable to warrant such recommendation.
It therefore means the President must act fast to save the Judiciary from imminent collapse arising from the presence of such characters in that arm of government.
It will be recalled that Justice Naaron was he who delivered a controversial judgment in favour of the former governor ofOsunState, Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola, prompting the President of theAppeal Courtto order a retrial and possible placement of justice in the right place.
On his part, Justice Talba, was the man who delivered judgment brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) a self confessed thief, John YakubuYesufu, in the Pension Commission who stole 29 billion naira.
Talba in a plea bargaining agreement convicted the Yesufu sentencing him to 2 years imprisonment with N750, 000 option of fine.
Yesufu in apparent celebration of a vulnerable judicial system was said to have paid the money immediately and walk arrogantly out of the court premises.
Some of the allegations leveled against Justice Archibong were that he dismissed a grievious charge against an accused without taking his plea and refused to release the Certified True Copy of his Ruling to lawyers. He was also accused of issuing bench warrant on some officials of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for contempt even when the counsel who was directed by the Court to serve them filed an affidavit that he had not been able to serve the contempt application.
Archibong was said to have also made unfounded and caustic remarks on professional competence of some Senior Advocates of Nigeria and exhibiting glaring procedural irregularities which showed that he did not have a full grasp of the Law and procedure of the Court.
Another allegation was that the judge granted the leave sought for in an originating summons that had no written address of the parties and without hearing both parties in the originating summons after he had earlier on overruled the preliminary objection.
Although he was rearrested by the anti graft agency and charged on another 21 count charge.