The Presidency has expressed dissatisfaction at the reinstatement of judges under investigation for corrupt practices by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
Special Adviser to the President on Prosecutions, Okoi Obono-Obla berated the NJC during a programme on Channels TV, titled ‘Sunrise Daily’ on Monday.
The NJC had last week announced the reinstatement of the judges, after the Attorney-General of the Federation had refused to bring charges against them, while others were discharged by the court.
Obla said the NJC with its actions was indirectly promoting corruption.
Obono-Obla added, “I can assure you that the NJC was aware of the intention of the EFCC to file criminal proceedings against those judges. So, why the hurry? Some of those judges also have several petitions written against them to the knowledge of the NJC so what is the hurry?
“We were in the process of charging them to court and the NJC is aware that the EFCC was in the process of charging these judges to court and as I said earlier, there are also complaints, petitions from members of the public against these judges; so, why have they not looked into some of these petitions?
“The impression is that they (NJC members) are trying to protect some of these judges. Apart from the criminal allegations against them, there are several petitions against these judges.
“The NJC will just have to suspend them again. The judges should be stopped from sitting from today because they will soon be charged to court; I can assure you.”
He specifically stated that the EFCC was trying to appeal Justice Ademola’s case.
He said it was unethical for the judge to preside over cases when his integrity was still in question.
Obono-Obla added, “An appeal is not tantamount to a stay of execution but we are talking of a judge’s integrity; the reputation of the judge, the credibility of the judiciary. This is a judge whose credibility is at stake.
“He was arraigned for allegedly collecting bribes. He was discharged and acquitted and the decision was appealed. If I were that judge, I would not sit until the appeal is heard because members of the public will not have confidence in his court and the judicial system relies on the confidence of the people.”