The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, has ordered the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to initiate disciplinary action against the Upper Area Court Judge that issued direct criminal summons against a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo.
The judge (names withheld) issued the criminal charges against the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the Anambra State poll over alleged serial abuse of office and breach of code of conduct for public officers when he was CBN governor between May 29, 2004, and May 29, 2009.
The Upper Area Court had on August 23, 2021 issued a direct criminal summons against Prof. Soludo over perjury, corruption, and false assets declaration, which is 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 JSC billed to discipline the judge is under the chairmanship of the Acting Chief Judge, Hussein Baba Yusuf.
A top source told The Guardian that “from all indications, the CJN and Chairman, National Judicial Council (CJC), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, seems determined to put an end to impunity and misconduct in the judiciary.”
The CJN had met with chief judges of the FCT, Rivers, Kebbi, Cross River, Jigawa, Anambra, and Imo states on Monday, September 6, 2021, and directed some of them to admonish the judges in their jurisdictions on the danger of granting ex-parte injunctions.
The acting Chief Judge of the FCT is expected to submit his findings to the CJN within 21 days.