NJC to arrested judges: You must step aside
The National Judicial Council on Thursday told all the judges being investigated over allegations of corruption to step down from the Bench pending their trial.
This was revealed in a statement by the spokesman of the NJC, Soji Oye, in a statement made available to newsmen.
Oye said the NJC, under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, took the decision, alongside others, at its 79th meeting held on November 2 and 3, 2016.
He said the NJC has already commenced the implementation of specific aspects of the National Judicial Policy, which came into force in April 2016 and was launched on October 24, 2016.
Oye said during the meeting, the Council set-up a Transparency and Anti-Corruption Policy Implementation Committee.
The committee is made up of Justice E. O. Ayoola, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, as Chairman; Justice Kashim Zannah, the Chief Judge of Borno State, as member; and A. B. Mahmoud, the President of the Nigeria Bar Association, also as member.
The statement by Oye added: “Section 6 of the National Judicial Policy aims at putting in place multifaceted strategies and guidelines that will ensure transparency and eliminate corruption in the Judiciary.
“It seeks, amongst other measures, to provide a platform and opportunity to citizens who profess factual and credible knowledge of information on the nature and modalities of corruption in the judicial system to ventilate such.”
Oye also announced the decision of the NJC that judges arrested on suspicion of corruption must step aside.
He said in the statement: “Council also decided that Judicial Officers shall not be standing trial for alleged corruption related offences and be performing judicial functions at the same time. Council however decided that it will ensure that Judicial Officers who are being investigated for alleged high profile criminal offences do not perform judicial functions until their cases are concluded.”