25 February 2013

Nigeria: Jonathan Sacks Justice Archibong

President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the immediate retirement of Justice Charles Archibong following the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke who disclosed this to state House correspondents said the president's approval of the immediate retirement of the Justice was to strengthen the fight against corruption.

The Attorney General said: "this is to inform you that President Goodluck Jonathan is in receipt of a recommendation from the National Judicial Council recommending the compulsory retirement of Justice Charles Archibong and Mr. President has approved that it should take immediate effect.

"It is Mr. President's belief that once we are able to cleanse the judiciary of corruption, then our fight against corruption in its entirety will take a firm root and will be on its way to success" he said.

It would be recalled that the National Judicial Council had said last week that it had recommended Justice Archibong to president Jonathan for retirement.

A statement from the Acting Director, Information of the NJC, Mr. Soji Oye, while noting that the Council took the decision at an emergency meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, stated that the Judge also lied in his controversial ruling in the case involving a former managing director of Intercontinental Bank, Erastus Akingbola.

The statement noted: "Hon. Justice Archibong was recommended for compulsory retirement to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, pursuant to the findings by the council on the following complaints leveled against him; that the judge dismissed the grievous charges against an accused person (Erastus Akingbola) without taking his plea.

"That he refused to release the Certified True Copy of his ruling to the lawyers. That the judge issued a bench warrant on some officials of the Peoples Democratic Party for contempt even when the counsel who was directed by the court to serve them an affidavit had not been able to serve the contempt application.

"That he made unfounded and caustic remarks on professional competence of some Senior Advocates of Nigeria. That there were glaring procedural irregularities which showed that Archibong did not have a full grasp of the law and procedure of the court.

"That he granted the leave sought in the originating summons that had no written address of the parties and without hearing both parties in the originating summons after he had earlier overruled the preliminary objection."

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