The National Judicial Council, chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, has recommended the compulsory retirement of Justice Michael Goji of the High Court of Adamawa.
Goji was recommended for compulsory retirement for refusing to proceed on transfer to the Mubi Judicial Division of the State High Court since July 2017.
A statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by Soji Oye, the council’s Director of Information, said that the NJC took the decision at its 86th meeting held on May, 8 and 9.
It said: “Justice Michael Goji was recommended for compulsory retirement to Governor Bindo Jibrilla of Adamawa, sequel to the advice of the State Judicial Service Commission to council after its findings on the allegations of misconduct levelled against him.
“The Adamawa Judicial Service Commission had conducted an investigation on the conduct of Justice Goji, following the directive of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, after receiving the complaint of his misconduct from the Adamawa State Chief Judge.”
Oye said that besides the recommendation for compulsory retirement, Goji was also directed to refund all salaries received by him from July 2017 till date.
He said that the NJC warned that if the embattled judicial officer failed to obey the directive, the Adamawa Government should deduct the amount from any entitlement due to him and remit same to the NJC.
He further said that the NJC, in exercise of its disciplinary powers, suspended Goji, pending his removal from office.
Oye also disclosed that petitions written against 25 judicial officers and others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,were also considered by NJC.
According to him, the council resolved to empanel seven committees to look into the allegations.
He said that other petitions against other judges were dismissed for lack of establishment of misconduct, being subjudice or that such petitions were matters for appeal.
The dismissed petitions were against Justices Anwuli Chikere, John Tsoho, Emeka Nwite, and Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court.
Others were: against Justices Adetokunbo Banjoko of FCT High Court; Taminu Zailani, Chief Judge of Kaduna State; M. A. Adeigbe, High Court of Osun, and E. N. Ogbuiji, High Court of Rivers.
He said the NJC also considered the reports of various investigation committees and dismissed petitions against Justice Paul Galinje of the Supreme Court, Justice Aminu Ringim, Chief Judge, Jigawa, and Justice Peter Umeadi, Chief Judge, Enugu State.
Oye said that the petition against Justice Galinje was dismissed following its withdrawal by the petitioners, who had alleged that he interfered in a chieftaincy matter in Taraba.
The petition against Justice Ringim was also dismissed because the petitioner withdrew it and the council said there was no longer need to investigate.
The NJC information director also said that the council recommended 21 judges for appointment as chief judges, grand kadi, high court judges, sharia court kadis, president customary court of appeal and member, Code of Conduct Tribunal.