The attempt by Justice Adeniyi Ademola to pull a fast one on the National Judicial Council by voluntarily resigning from the bench has been scuttled.
On Thursday, Ademola, a judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja had tendered his resignation without giving any reason.
He was scheduled to retire on April 9, 2018, when he would have attained the mandatory retirement age of 65 years.
Recall too that he was one of the judges probed and cleared of corruption charges recently.
But in a statement issued by its Director of Information, Soji Oye, the council said it had recommended the compulsory retirement of Ademola, along with Justice O. O. Tokode, both of the Federal High Court, for misconduct.
The statement reads in part: “The public is hereby informed to disregard news circulating on some news media that Hon. Mr. Justice Ademola has voluntarily retired. The purported voluntary retirement is clearly an afterthought as Council had taken action before his decision to forward any voluntary retirement letter.
“The National Judicial Council, under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, at its 84th Meeting which was held on December 6, 2017, recommended the compulsory retirement from office of Justice A. F. A. Ademola and Justice O. O. Tokode both of the Federal High Court for misconduct.
“Mr. Ademola who had forwarded his notice of retirement on 10th October, 2017 to the Council against 9th April, 2018, when he will attain the mandatory retirement age of 65 years was recommended for compulsory retirement from office to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, pursuant to the findings by the Council on the allegation contained in the petition written against His Lordship by a group of 8 persons under the name of Committee of Anambra State PDP House of Representatives Members-Elect.”
In the case of Tokode, the recommendation for his retirement resulted from the findings in the petitions against him by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and one Abimbola Awogboro.
According to NJC, “The investigation committee of council however found that the Hon Judge personally conducted only one of the six cases submitted. Therefore, Council decided to recommend his compulsory retirement and the refund of all salaries and allowances he earned since his purported appointment to the position of a judge to the coffers of the Judiciary…. “The council also issued serious warning letters to Hon. Mr. Justice A. N. Ubaka of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria for failure to deliver Ruling in Suit No. NICN/BEN/51/2014 within the time specified time by law.
“The Council did not accept the reasons given for failure to deliver the ruling within time.
“The Hon. Judge has also been placed on watch-list of the Council for the next one year.
“Council also gave a warning letter to Hon. Mr. Justice Zainab Aliyu Sadat of the High Court of Niger State and placed her on the watch-list for three years for claiming that the Defendant in Suit No: NHSC/MN/46/2016 failed to make available authority cited by them after submission of the argument to her.”