Govs can’t re­move, ap­point CJ with­out NJC in­put -SC

Daily Trust - - LAW REPORT / LAW -

against the cross-ap­pel­lant. The en­tire case in fact prin­ci­pally in­volves the pro­ce­dure pre­scribed un­der the CFRN 1999 for the re­moval or tak­ing dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against a chief judge of a state. The court be­low was not in er­ror at all in delv­ing into the mat­ter.

These three is­sues in the 3rd re­spon­dent/cross-ap­pel­lant’s ap­peal have been ef­fec­tively cov­ered in the four is­sues iden­ti­fied and re­solved in the 2nd re­spon­dent/cross-ap­pel­lant’s cross-ap­peal. In other words, on the in­ter­pre­ta­tion and ap­pli­ca­tion of the pro­vi­sions of Sec­tion 153(1 ) (i), 271 (1 )1, 292(1 )(a)(ii) and para­graph 21 of Part 1 of the Third Sched­ule to the CFRN 1999, the Gover­nor of Kwara State and the House of As­sem­bly of Kwara State can­not re­move the Chief Judge of Kwara State from of­fice with­out re­course to and in­put or par­tic­i­pa­tion of the NJC. That is to say for the pur­pose of em­pha­sis, the CFRN 1999, does not give the Gover­nor of Kwara State act­ing in con­junc­tion with the House of As­sem­bly of Kwara State ab­so­lute power to re­move the chief judge of the state from his/ her of­fice or ap­point­ment be­fore the age of re­tire­ment with­out the rec­om­men­da­tion or the NJC.

Thus, in the fi­nal anal­y­sis in the ap­peals and the cross­ap­peals in this mat­ter, the ap­peal which suc­ceed are hereby al­lowed, the judg­ment of the court be­low which held that the trial court lacked ju­ris­dic­tion in en­ter­tain­ing the ac­tion is hereby set aside. The judg­ment of the trial court declar­ing that it has ju­ris­dic­tion to en­ter­tain and de­ter­mine the mat­ter brought be­fore it by the plain­tiff/ap­pel­lant is hereby re­stored and af­firmed. In the same vein, the two cross­ap­peals of the 2nd and 3rd re­spon­dents/cross-ap­pel­lants hav­ing failed, are hereby dis­missed.

Tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the cir­cum­stances of this case, I do not re­gard it ap­pro­pri­ate to make any or­der on costs. Coun­sel: Chief A. S. Awom­olo (SAN) (with him O. A. Aiye­mowa) - for the 1st Ap­pel­lant/CrossRe­spon­dent.

J. B. Daudu (SAN. (with him. E. O. Maduka (Miss) and O. 0. Ke­hinde) - for the 2nd Ap­pel­lant/ Cross-Re­spon­dent.

R.A. Lawal Ra­bana (SAN) (with him. Aliyu Saiki) - for the 1st re­spon­dent.

A. 0. Ade­lo­dun (SAN) (with him. A Ab­dulra­heem) - for the 2nd re­spon­dent/CrossAp­pel­lant.

Yusuf Ali (SAN) (with him. K. K. Eleja. T.B. Olurode (Miss). T.E. Ak­in­tade (Miss.) and K. T. Su­laiman (Miss)) -for the 3rd Re­spon­dent/Cross -Ap­pel­lant.

Con­cluded

Hon. Jus­tice Mah­mud Mo­hammed, Jus­tice of Supreme Court

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