CJN probes FCT judge over summons on Soludo

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, has instituted disciplinary action against a judge, Justice Gambo Garba of the Federal Capital Territory.

Garba is being probed for criminal summons on the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Soludo.

The embattled judge had on July 15 directed Soludo, to answer charges bordering on alleged perjury and breach of Code of Conduct during his tenure as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) between May 29, 2004, and May 29, 2009.

Although criminal trial bordering on false declaration of assets is exclusively vested in the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), the upper area court judge assumed jurisdiction contrary to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

This ruling is said to have raised many eyebrow within and outside the judiciary with many wondering what the motive of the trial judge could be.

The decision is said to have thoroughly embarrassed the top hierarchy of the judiciary prompting Justice Tanko to institute the probe, which many see as a step in the right direction.

Acting Chief Judge of the FCT High Court and chairman of the FCT Judicial Service Committee, Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf, would chair the disciplinary committee against the judge.

The CJN had on September 6 quizzed chief judges of FCT, Rivers, Kebbi, Cross Rivers, Jigawa, Anambra and Imo states where he cautioned against the issuance of ex parte orders in political matters.

The FCT High Court acting CJ is expected to submit the report of the committee’s findings within 21 days.

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