The National Judicial Council (NJC) has barred three judges from promotion for issuing conflicting ex parte orders.
This was announced in a statement issued by Soji Oye, NJC Director of Information, on Tuesday.
According to the statement, the decision was taken by the NJC during a two-day meeting held on December 14 and 15.
Ibrahim Muhammad, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), had quizzed seven chief judges on 6 September for issuing conflicting orders.
The CJN subsequently directed the NJC to set up a panel to probe three of them.
It was learnt that the affected judges issued conflicting orders on the leadership crisis of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and on candidacy controversies ahead of the Anambra governorship election.
The statement read: “Even though there was no written petition, allegations of corruption or impropriety against the subject judges, council nevertheless, initiated an investigation pursuant to its inherent disciplinary powers under the constitution to unravel the circumstances that led to the spate of ex parte orders granted by these courts of coordinate jurisdiction over matters bearing same parties and subject matter.”
The NJC, which was chaired by Mary Peter-Odili, deputy chairman of the council, resolved that Okogbule Gbasam, judge of the high court of Rivers state “be barred from elevation to higher bench for two years whenever he is due, as he failed to exercise due diligence in granting the ex parte order in Suit No: PHC/2183/CS/2021 between Ibealwuchi Earnest Alex & 4 Ors and Prince Uche Secondus & anor, as there was no real urgency, in the circumstances of the matter, that would have required an ex parte order.
“Council also resolved that hon. justice Nusirat I. Umar of the high court of Kebbi state be barred from elevation to higher Bench for two years whenever due, having found fundamental defects and non-compliance with the law in granting the ex parte order in suit no: KB/HC/M.71/2021 between Yahaya Usman & 2 Ors and Prince Uche Secondus & anor.
“The council also placed him on its Watch-List for a period of two years.”
All three judges also received warning letters urging them to be circumspect in granting ex parte orders in the future.