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CJN Refers Area Court Judge to Disciplinary Committee for Issuing Criminal Summons on Soludo

CJN Refers Area Court Judge to Disciplinary Committee for Issuing Criminal Summons on Soludo 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, has ordered the Judicial Service Committee (JSC) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to commence disciplinary action against the Upper Area Court Judge, who issued direct criminal summons against a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Chukwuma Soludo.

The judge (name withheld) had recently issued criminal charges against Soludo, candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State, over alleged serial abuse of office and breach of Code of Conduct for public officers while in office between May 29, 2004 and May 29, 2009.

According to the summons, Soludo was to appear before the court and answer to charges bordering on perjury, corruption and false assets declaration, which was completely outside the jurisdiction of the Upper Area Court.

Trial on criminal charges on false declaration of assets is exclusively vested in the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) but the Upper Area Court Judge assumed jurisdiction contrary to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

The CJN had recently met with the Chief Judges of FCT, Rivers, Kebbi, Cross Rivers, Jigawa, Anambra and Imo States and directed them to admonish the Judges in their jurisdictions on the danger of granting conflicting ex parte injunctions, especially by courts of coordinate jurisdiction.

The Acting Chief Judge of the FCT, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, who is the Chairman of the FCT Judicial Service Committee, was expected to submit his findings to the CJN within 21 days.

 

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