NJC Queries Judge Over Alleged Judicial Misconduct

The National Judicial Council (NJC), has issued a query to Justice Mohammed Yunusa of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.


He had earlier been accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged judicial misconduct.


Justice Yunusa was specifically accused of receiving financial transfers from a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Rickey Tarfa.


According to a letter with the reference number NJC/F.3/FHC.49/1/421, dated March 16, 2016, and signed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) who also doubles as Chairman of the NJC, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, and which was sent through the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim N. Auta, the troubled judge was given a 14-day deadline to submit his response to allegations of judicial, abuse, compromise and misconduct leveled against him by the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC).


The group in the said petition dated December 15, 2015, had accused Justice Yunusa of refusal to abide by judicial precedents, laid down by the apex courts, in granting orders and injunctions against the EFCC.


In the contention of the CSNAC, ”˜The actions of Justice Yunusa will undoubtedly serve as a leeway for unscrupulous and corrupt individuals, who will stop at nothing to truncate their arrest, investigation and prosecution by the appropriate law enforcement agencies, to render our criminal law ineffective, as well as allowing corruption fester in the society.’


CSNAC had earlier posited that ”˜The grant of the orders of mandatory and perpetual injunctions by Justice Yunusa against the EFCC is a grave departure from the established principles in the mentioned cases, as laid down by the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal which is binding on the Federal High Court, being a lower court.

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”˜Justice Yunusa, by the grant of these orders, has stripped the EFCC of its constitutional powers as a law enforcement agency, as well its powers under the enabling law, the EFCC (Establishment) Act, LFN 2004, a Federal Legislation.


”˜It is also a gross abuse of his powers as a judicial officer.’


The group listed some of the cases concerned as Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1471/2015 ”“ Mr. Simon John Adonmene & three others v. EFCC filed on September 21, 2015, before Justice Yunusa of the Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division; Suit No. FHC/L/CS/487/14 ”“ FRN v. Michael Adenuga; Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1342/15 ”“ Senator Stella Odua v. AG Federation, EFCC, ICPC, and IGP; Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1285/15 ”“ Jyde Adelakun and Anor v. Chairman EFCC & Anor; Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1445/15 ”“ Dr. Martins Oluwafemi Thomas v. EFCC; Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1269/15 ”“ Shamsudeen Abogu v. EFCC and Ors; Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1012/15 ”“ Hon. Teeth Dauzia Loya v. EFCC.


In the query, the CJN said, ”˜I forward herewith a petition dated December 21, 2015, against you by Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, Chairman, Civil Society Network Against Corruption, on the above subject matter. The petition speaks for itself. I shall be glad to have your comments within 14 days from the date of your receipt of this letter, please.’


The CJN awaits the response of Justice Yunusa.

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