President Jonathan sends Justice Archibong to compulsory retirement
President Goodluck Jonathan has endorsed the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, by ordering the compulsory retirement of Justice Charles Efanga Archibong of the Federal High Court.
The NJC had sanctioned Archibong for his poor judgement and reprehensible conduct when he heard the case of Federal Republic of Nigeria Vs Dr. Erastus Akingbola.
The President also on the recommendation of the Council, approved the extension of the appointment of the Acting President of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa.
In a statement Friday, the NJC also recommended the compulsory retirement of Justice Justice T.D. Naron of High Court of Justice, Plateau state following investigations conducted by the Council on series of petition leveled against him, just like was slammed on Archibong.
Some of the allegations leveled against Justice Archibong were that he dismissed a grievious charge against an accused without taking his plea and refused to release the Certified True Copy of his Ruling to lawyers.
He was also accused of issuing bench warrant on some officials of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for contempt even when the counsel who was directed by the Court to serve them filed an affidavit that he had not been able to serve the contempt application.
Archibong was said to have also made unfounded and caustic remarks on professional competence of some Senior Advocates of Nigeria and exhibiting glaring procedural irregularities which showed that he did not have a full grasp of the Law and procedure of the Court.
Another allegation was that the judge granted the leave sought for in an originating summons that had no written address of the parties and without hearing both parties in the originating summons after he had earlier on overruled the preliminary objection.
On the other hand, Justice Naron’s compulsory retirement was recommended by the NJC to Governor David Jonah Jang following findings by the Council that there were constant and regular voice calls and exchange of mms and sms (text) messages between the judge and one of the lead counsel for one of the parties to the Suit in the Osun State Gubernatorial Election Tribunal, contrary to the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Section 292 (1)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In the exercise of its disciplinary powers under the Constitution, the National Judicial Council last week suspended the two Judges from office with immediate effect.
Analysts however wondered why President Jonathan has not acted in giving effect to the earlier recommendation of NJC to reinstate Justice Ayo Salami of the Appeal Court.