Thursday, 21 May 2015

NIGERIAN NEWS: NJC bars judges from presenting books, accepting gifts

The National Judicial Council has barred further writing of books in honour of serving judges, The PUNCH has learnt.
It was gathered on Wednesday that the NJC took the decision to bar serving judges from accepting such honour on Wednesday, the first day of the council’s ongoing quarterly meetings in Abuja.

The meeting for the current quarter in this year started on Wednesday and will end on Thursday.
A member of the NJC told our correspondent that the council lamented over the implication of such book presentations which usually attracted donations from politicians and most of the time litigants whose cases would come before such judges.
The council was said to have directed those who intend to honour a judge to wait until the retirement of such a judge from office.
According to the source, the issue was tabled before the council by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, referring to a report in The PUNCH of May 18, 2015 and This Day newspaper on the recent presentation of a book written in honour of the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
The PUNCH’s feature story titled ‘Donations in honour of judges raise ethical questions’ reported that the Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Esama, donated N8m towards the book, ‘Encyclopedia of Civil Procedures and Practices of Superior Courts.’
The source, who spoke with our correspondent, said that the CJN was not happy with the development, following which the NJC took the decision to bar serving judges from accepting books being written in their names.
“The NJC has said that such honour should be reserved for retired judges,” the source said.
The book presentation event on April 30, 2015, took place on the same day that Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Abuja sentenced one of Igbinedion’s sons, Michael, to a six-year jail term with an option of N3m fine for N25bn money laundering offences.
Michael is a younger brother of Lucky, also Igbinedion’s son, and a former governor of Edo State for eight years.
The public had expressed concern about the judgment which gave Michael an option of N3m fine but sentenced his co-accused, who used to be an aide to Lucky as governor, Patrick Eboigbodin, to 20 years imprisonment without an option of fine for the same offences.
Justice Liman had, on April 29, 2015, convicted Michael, who is a younger brother to Lucky, and adjourned till April 30 for sentencing.
SOURCE: punchng