The National Judicial Court said on Thursday that it had recommended Justices Adeniyi Ademola and Segun Tokode, both of the Federal High Court for compulsory retirement over acts of misconduct.
The retirement letter which dated December 6, was received by the Office of the Acting Chief Judge, Abuja on the 7th (today).
The judge's abrupt decision to retire came as a shock to staff and lawyers, who had earlier entered appearance in eight cases before the court, including a judgment involving Abimel Ibrahim and seven other police officers accused of Boko Haram activities in the North East. Family members of the police officers cried in the court, as hundreds of other cases have been thrown into limbo.
"This letter supercedes my previous notice of retirement from the Federal High Court of Nigeria dated September 25, 2017", he stated in a footnote in the letter.
However, in a statement made available to INDEPENDENT, the National Judicial Council (NJC) on Thursday said the action of Ademola was an afterthought to forestall his anticipated sack, having gotten wind of his indictment by the NJC in respect of a petition that had been lodged against him by some persons.
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The one-paragraph letter, submitted to the Office of the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, said his retirement took effect from Wednesday. Mr. Justice Ademola has voluntarily retired.
The spokesperson for the National Judicial Council, Soji Oye, could not be immediately reached.
Justice Auta had exercised his administrative power to transfer the case to Justice Quadri at a time Justice Ademola and Lamido's lawyer; Joe Agi (SAN) were being tried for corruption related offences before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Nevertheless, the trial court, in a judgement that was delivered by Justice Jude Okeke on February 5, discharged the defendants on the premise that Federal Government failed to prove its allegations against them. "Mr. Justices S.A. Orugboyo and R. I. B. Adebiyi, High Court, Lagos State, were dismissed by the council as all the petitioners withdrew them and council found no serious issues for further consideration in the allegations". The judge has also been placed on the watch-list of the Council for the next one year.
A source said: "The Judge will be 65 years by March 2018".