Following his recall by the National Judicial Council, NJC, last week, Justice Adeniyi Ademola of a Federal High Court in Abuja resumed sitting on Wednesday.
Justice Ademola was among the six judges earlier asked by the NJC to stop sitting, shortly after a raid conducted by the Department of State Services on his house and other judges in October 2016.
The NJC, through a statement signed by its Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye, on Saturday however, asked that Justice Ademola resumes his judicial duties as the court had exonerated him of the charges preferred against him by the Federal Government.
The Presidency had shortly after the Judges were reinstated, expressed its displeasure with action of the NJC which it accused of indirectly promoting corruption.
According to Special Adviser to the President on Prosecutions, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, the NJC was fully aware of plans by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to arraign the judges on fresh corruption charges.
“Some of those judges also have several petitions written against them to the knowledge of the NJC so what is the hurry?
“We were in the process of charging them to court and the NJC is aware that the EFCC was in the process of charging these judges to court and as I said earlier, there are also complaints, petitions from members of the public against these judges; so, why have they not looked into some of these petitions?
“The impression is that they (NJC members) are trying to protect some of these judges.
“The NJC will just have to suspend them again. The judges should be stopped from sitting from today because they will soon be charged to court; I can assure you”.
The President’s aide said he was particularly disappointed that the NJC reinstated Justice Ademola, whose case is still under appeal.
He said: “An appeal is not tantamount to a stay of execution but we are talking of a judge’s integrity; the reputation of the judge, the credibility of the judiciary. This is a judge whose credibility is at stake.
“He was arraigned for allegedly collecting bribes. He was discharged and acquitted and the decision was appealed. If I were that judge, I would not sit until the appeal is heard because members of the public will not have confidence in his court and the judicial system relies on the confidence of the people.”