The Chief Judge (CJ) of Federal High Court (FHC), Justice John Tsoho, on Friday, expressed happiness that non of the judges of the court was involved in the findings of the National Judicial Council (NJC) on the recent conflicting court orders by three judges.
Justice Tsoho made this known while delivering an opening address at the 37th Annual FHC Judges’ Conference in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NJC, on Thursday, came down hard on three judges from courts of concurrent jurisdiction.
The affected judges are Justice Okogbule Gbasam of the High Court of Rivers, Justice Nusirat I. Umar of the High Court of Kebbi and Justice Edem Ita Kooffreh of the High Court of Cross River.
The NJC had initiated investigation pursuant to its inherent disciplinary powers under the constitution to unravel the circumstances that led to the spate of ex parte orders granted by these courts of coordinate jurisdiction over matters with the same parties and subject matters.
As a result, they were barred from promotion to the higher Bench for a period ranging from two to five years whenever they were due for such promotion.
Justice Tsoho said: “It is a thing of joy and pride that no judge of the Federal High Court featured in the recent saga of wrong issuance of ex-parte orders.
“Let us continue to maintain this image.”
The CJ urged the judges to always be wary of actions that could put their good reputation and the court in bad light
“Judges are human beings, but must see themselves as occupying positions that are more sensitive than others.
“Hence, like Ceasar’s wife, they must be above suspicions.
“Indeed, words and actions that would easily seem provocative to the ‘ordinary man’ should be completely avoided,” he said.
Tsoho, who thanked the judges for their hard work and dedication to duty throughout the past legal year, said he was also happy that no action emanated from the court to truncate or interfere with the Nov. 6 Anambra state governorship election.
“Any action taken by the court in one way or the other, would have caused a spontaneous reaction by the players in the field, anxiously looking for an excuse and who to blame.
“The Anambra elections as well as the Ondo and Edo elections have come and gone and there was no complaint against this court,” he said.
Tsoho, who solicited the usual cooperation to improve the general welfare of judges and staff, said it was no longer news that about six new judges would be appointed soonest, while the process for the appointment of another 15 judges would commence.
NAN reports that though the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, was expected to declare the 2021/2022 conference open, he was conspicuously absent with no representation.