The National Judicial Council (NJC) have asked all indicted judges to step down from the Bench pending their trial.
This announcement was made in a statement by Acting Director of Information, Soji Oye after a two-day emergency meeting. This new position means the body has now bowed to pressure from several quarters including the NBA.
Sets Up Anti Corruption Committee
According to the statement, it also set up a Transparency and Anti-Corruption Policy Implementation Committee.
“During the Meeting, Council set-up a Transparency and Anti-Corruption Policy Implementation Committee as follows: Hon Justice E. O. Ayoola, CON (Rtd Justice of the Supreme Court) – Chairman. Hon Justice Kashim Zannah, Chief Judge of Borno State – Member. A. B. Mahmoud, SAN, President Nigeria Bar Association – Member.”
Similarly, the statement quoted Section 6 of the National Judicial Policy. The policy is set up to provide strategies and guidelines to eliminate corruption in the Judiciary.
“It seeks, amongst other measures, to provide a platform and opportunity to citizens who profess factual and credible knowledge of information on the nature and modalities of corruption in the judicial system to ventilate such.
Indicted Judges Should Step Aside
Similarly, the statement said Judges who are facing allegations of corruption should not be sitting for cases.
“Council also decided that Judicial Officers shall not be standing trial for alleged corruption related offences and be performing judicial functions at the same time.
“Council however decided that it will ensure that Judicial Officers who are being investigated for alleged high profile criminal offences do not perform judicial functions until their cases are concluded”.