20 July 2016
Some Abuja-based lawyers have commended the National Judicial Council (NJC) for sacking two judges for gross misconduct.
The sacked judges are Olamide Oloyode of the High Court of Osun and Yunusa Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Lagos.
The lawyers said that the sack had sent a signal that the Bench indeed had “a watchdog’’.
Mr Anthony Ehilebo of International Media and Legal Consult said that judges must know that when they err in law, there exist mechanisms for discipline within the system.
According to him, when you are called to bar, it has its privileges and restrictions and you should respect that.
Ehilebo also said that judges were not supposed to hold political positions or be members of political parties.
“When justice is tainted by political sentiment then justice will not be delivered adequately,’’ Ehilebo said.
He said the sacked judges had the opportunity to appeal if they felt that the NJC’s decision was made in error.
Another legal practitioner, Mark Ejeh, said that nobody was above the law as far as breaches were concerned.
Ejeh said that the sacking of the judges was a good omen for the judicial system.
“If the judges are found to be compromised, especially by political issues, I think cleaning them out is better,’’ Ejeh said.
In his reaction, Tajudeen Adegbite, described NJC’s action as constitutional because the council, as a watchdog, protects the sanctity of the judiciary.
According to him, the NJC is an umbrella body that disciplines the judicial officers on misconduct-related issues.
Adegbite said. “the judiciary is meant to be seen not heard and should not participate in politics.’’
He added that the judiciary should not go beyond its capacity and power and when such happened, the NJC must check it.
Also, Mr Kayode Isaac, suggested that the judges should also be prosecuted and jailed if found guilty.
According to him, dismissing them without further consequences will not serve as a lesson to others in the act.