Govs can’t remove, appoint CJ without NJC input -SC
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.
Hon. Justice Mahmud Mohammed, Justice of Supreme Court