The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the compulsory retirement of the Chief Judge of Taraba State High Court , Justice Philibus F. B. Andetur with immediate effect.
The recommendation was directed to Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku of Taraba State.
Justice Andetur was recommended for compulsory retirement following his indictment in a petition written against him by Senator Muhammed Sanusi Dagash.
According to a statement by NJC’s Director of Information, Soji Oye, the council took the decision at its 101 meeting held on March 16.
Dagash, it was said, had in the petition accused the Chief Judge of suppressing judgment by failing to deliver judgment in Suit No: TRSJ/134/17 involving Mallam Kassim Yahaya Ahmad Vs Shittu Wurmo & Shuwari Farms Limited.
The statement noted that, though the constitution provides that court’s decision must be delivered within three months after the adoption of final addresses, Justice Andetur was said to have failed to deliver judgment for 30 months after the adoption of final addresses by lawyers to the parties.
The NJC found that the Chief Judge breached the provisions of S.294 (1) of the 1999 Constitution and therefore, recommended him for compulsory retirement with immediate effect to Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku of Taraba State.
The council said, in the interim, and in exercise of its disciplinary powers under the constitution, it has suspended Justice Andetur from office pending his compulsory retirement by the state governor.
It directed Justice Andetur to hand over to the next most senior judge in the state
The NJC also considered the report of one of its Complaints Assessment Committees and agreed with the committee’s recommendation to empanel four committees to further investigate four of the seven petitions forwarded to it while it dismissed three others.
One of the three petitions was dismissed for being subjudice and the remaining two were dismissed because the affected judges had retired from service and by virtue of Rule 18(2) (h) of the NJC Judicial Discipline Regulations 2017, the judges, having retired, are no longer under the disciplinary control of the council.
Similarly, the Council was said to have considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee and at the end of deliberation, recommended the appointment of six Heads of Courts and five judges for the High Court of Plateau State.
The Heads of Courts are Justice Ikpambese Maurice Ahemba as Chief Judge for Benue State; Justice Hafsat Abdulrahman
as Chief Judge for Adamawa State; Justice Abiodun Ayodele Adebara as Chief Judge for Kwara State, and Justice Iyabo Subulade Yerima as the Chief Judge for Oyo State.
Others are Hon. Kadi Ibrahim Wakili Sudi as Grand Kadi for Sharia Court of Appeal, Adamawa State and
Hon. Justice Audu James Balami as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Adamawa State.
The NJC also recommended the appointment of five lawyers as judges of the High Court of Plateau State.
They are Charles Donglong, Ashahabu Suleiman Wase,
Shikamma Kassam Sheltu, Mary Abah Izam and Nanle Titus Komak
The statement added that the NJC equally received notification of retirements of eight judges of the federal and state courts and notification of death of a Court of Appeal Justice.