The former Federal High Court judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, who was discharged of corruption charges after a DSS raid and court arraignment has written to Justice Walter Onnoghen, Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, and Chairman of the National Judicial Council, NJC, seeking reinstatement to his work duties.
A source knowledgeable about the matter at the NJC noted that a letter to the CJN, titled, ‘Re: Request for the Suspension of indicted Judicial Officers,’ was routed through the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta recently.
The source said the CJN was yet to take a decision on the letter, but may be waiting for a meeting of the NJC where it will be tabled for the council’s consideration.
You would recall that Justice Ademola among the seven judges whose residences were raided and subsequently arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) last October for alleged corruption.
The judges, save for Justice Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court, were then arraigned by the federal government on various corruption charges.
However, before their arraignment, the NJC, bowing to public pressure, had asked Justice Ademola and two other judges to stop presiding over cases until they had been cleared of the corruption allegations.
But on April 5th, Justice Jude Okeke of the Abuja High Court discharged Ademola, his wife, Olabowale and Joe Agi (SAN) who were charged with receiving gratification, diversion of huge sums of money, and illegal possession of firearms.
After the prosecution led its evidence, the accused persons raised a no case submission which was upheld by the trial judge.
The judge had said that the case was built on high-level suspicion and speculation, adding that it was not his job as a judge to speculate.
Following his discharge we learnt that Justice Ademola, wrote to the CJN to allow him to resume sitting.
It is uncertain if the NJC’s delay in taking a decision on Justice Ademola’s letter has arisen from government’s move to appeal his acquittal by the court.
Source: Thisday, Stingged