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NJC sacks Judge over misconduct

ABUJA—President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, approved the sack of Justice Lambo Akanbi of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, after the National Judicial Council, NJC, found him guilty of judicial misconduct.

The NJC, in a statement it Abuja, said it had already directed Justice Akanbi to, with immediate effect, proceed on compulsory retirement.

President Buhari’s approval followed a recommendation that was sent to him by the NJC after its 74th meeting on November 4 and 5.

The NJC said it had at the meeting, considered various allegations that were levelled against Justice Akanbi by Shell Petroleum Company Nigeria Limited.

According to the Council, the allegation against the judge was that he “unilaterally appointed Mr. Emeka Nkwo of CYN-JAC (NIG) Ltd., who was not proposed by any of the parties as referee or valuer in Suit Nos FHC/PH/CS/434/2012 and FHC/PH/CS/435/2012.

“He also appointed the same referee or valuer in Suit FHC/PH/CS/25/2003, which is another matter involving one of the parties in the first suit.

“He heard and concluded the case without dealing with the notice of preliminary objection on the jurisdiction of his court.

“He sat on the case in the Federal High Court, Yenegoa in Suit FHC/YNG/CS/30/2013 after a new Judge had been transferred to the state without a fiat from the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.

“The judge also delivered the ruling in suit No FHC/PH/CS/07/2009, four months after final addresses were taken without any cogent reason contrary to the constitutional provisions that judgment should be delivered within a period of 90 days.

“Justice Akanbi also dismissed the application to set aside the report prepared by the valuer, CYN – JAC (NIG) Ltd and later changed the ruling to judgement which prevented the respondent from pursuing the application for stay of proceedings at the Court of Appeal.

“Justice Akanbi also failed to give a copy of his ruling delivered on June 12, 2013 to the complainant until June 28, 2013.

“In the exercise of its constitutional powers, at the same meetings of  November 4 and 5,  2015, council had suspended Justice Akanbi from office before the approval for his compulsory retirement by President Muhammadu Buhari,” read the statement that was signed by the acting Director of Information at the NJC, Mr. Soji Oye.

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