By Bashir Muhammad Inuwa
The Nigeria Judicial Council, (NJC) has clarified that only Governors has the power to determine Seniority of Judges in their states.
The clarification by the NJC was sequel to a purported letter in circulation that attributed reordering of seniority of Judges in Kebbi state.
A statement by Soji Oye, the Director information of the Nigeria Judicial Council (NJC) described the said letter as fake , as it asked the general public to “discountenance the letter and its content.”
The NJC statement reads thus “The National Judicial Council says its attention
has been drawn to a fake letter dated 14th July, 2023, purported to have emanated from the Council, and signed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, National Judicial Council, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola.”
“Soji Oye, Director information of the NJC in a statement said the fake letter titled “Order of Seniority of Judges of the High Court of Kebbi state and recommendation of Justice Umar Abubakar as the substantive Chief Judge of Kebbi state” addressed to the Chief Judge stating “that under section 10 of the existing law of Kebbi state 1996, His Excellency, the Governor, has the power to determine Seniority of Judges and the National Judicial Council has no power to override or reverse the decision of His Excellency”.
It further stated that “the office of the Head of Court/ Chief Judge is purely a political appointment to be decided by the Governor of a state “.
The Director said for the purpose of clarification and avoidance of doubt, the National Judicial Council emphatically disclaimed the letter as there is no iota of truth in it, and no such letter ever emanated from the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria or the Council.
“The public is hereby advised to discountenance the letter and its content.” He however said.
Meanwhile, he added that the Council has reported the unfortunate case to the relevant security agencies with a view to investigate and bring to book whoever is behind the dastardly act.