Lagos – Justice Adeniyi Ademola, acquitted of corruption charges, on Thursday tendered his letter of voluntary retirement from the Federal High Court bench.
The judge was due for his statutory retirement in March, 2018, but he suddenly turned in his letter of voluntary retirement, dated December 6, 2017.
He had forwarded his notice of retirement on October 10, 2017 to the National Judicial Council (NJC) against April 9, 2018, when he will attain the mandatory retirement age of 65 years.
Although his one-paragraph letter was submitted to the Office of the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on Thursday, the letter stated that his retirement took effect from Wednesday.
The judge did not state the reason for tendering his letter ahead of the anticipated date.
However, in a statement made available to INDEPENDENT, the National Judicial Council (NJC) on Thursday said the action of Ademola was an afterthought to forestall his anticipated sack, having gotten wind of his indictment by the NJC in respect of a petition that had been lodged against him by some persons.
According to the NJC, contrary to some media reports that the judge was voluntarily retired, his “purported retirement is clearly an afterthought as Council had taken action before his decision to forward any voluntary retirement letter.”
It stated that following the 84th meeting of the NJC held on December 6 under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, Ademola was recommended for compulsory retirement from office to President Muhammadu Buhari.
This was pursuant to the findings by the Council on the allegation contained in a petition written against the embattled judge by a group of eight persons under the name of Committee of Anambra State PDP House of Representatives Members-Elect.
They had accused the judge of gross misconduct for which the Council viewed his non-delivery of judgment within the constitutionally stipulated period of 90 days, in respect of the matter involving the petitioners, as confirming the allegation of misconduct lodged against him.
The Council said the action of the judge was contrary to the 2016 Revised Code of Conduct for judicial officers.
It would be recalled that earlier Justice Ademola was on December 13, 2016 arraigned alongside his wife Olabowale, who retired as Head of Service of Lagos State on November 10, 2017.
The couple were arraigned on an 11-count charge bordering on conspiracy to receive gratification and receiving gratification of N30 million from Joe Agi and Associates, between March 11 and March 26, 2015.
The couple were, however, discharged in a ruling upholding the respective no-case submissions filed by the defendants.
The court had ruled that the prosecution was unable to make out a prima facie case with respect to any of the 11 counts on concluding its case with 19 witnesses.
The post Justice Ademola Retired To Avert Sack – NJC appeared first on Independent Nigeria.
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Author: Stephen Ubimago