A Judge is known to be a public officer appointed to decide cases in a law court, what happens when this same Judge turns to a prophetic or make prophetic pronouncements in Judgments. What name do we call the Judge then?
This is scenario happens to be the case in Buhari Vs. INEC (2008) 19 NWLR (PT. 1120) 246 @ 409, where per Tobi JSC held:
Let no Judge flirt with politicians in the performance of their constitutional adjudicatory functions. When I say this, I must also say that I have nothing against politicians. They are our brothers and sisters in our homes. One can hardly find any Nigerian community or family without them. There cannot be democracy without them and we need democracy, not despotism, oligarchy and totalitarianism. They are jolly good fellows.The Only Point I Am Making Is That Their Professional Tools Are Different From Ours And The Nigerian Judge Should Know This Before He Finds Himself Or Falls Into A Mirage Where He Cannot Retrace His Steps To Administer Justice. That Type Of Misfortune Can Fall On Him If The National Judicial Council Gets Annoyed Of His Conduct. Ours Are Not Theirs. Theirs Are Not Ours.”
The above appears very prophetic towards the suspension of the seven Judges by the National Judicial Council. Did these Judges delve into ….(clear throat).
Recall that last week no fewer than seven Judges facing allegations and investigations of corrupt practices and acts were asked to step down from the bench pending their trial.
The NJC during its 79th meeting of 1 and 2 November, 2016 decided amongst others that :
“Judicial Officers shall not be standing trial for alleged corruption related offences and be performing judicial functions at the same time.
“It will ensure that Judicial Officers being investigated for alleged high profile criminal offences do not perform judicial functions until their cases are concluded”.
The NJC had earlier described “as unacceptable”, NBA’s call for all the serving judges affected by the “sting operation” the Department of State Services, DSS, conducted between October 7 and 8, to step down pending their trial.
The Council stated at that time that it would neither suspend nor ask any of the accused Judges to proceed on compulsory leave as recommended by the NBA, insisting that such action would be contrary to the provisions of Section 158 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.
Aside from two Justices of the Supreme Court – Inyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta, others to step down from the bench are Justices Adeniyi Ademola and Muazu Pindiga of Abuja and Gombe Divisions of the Federal High Court, respectively.
The NJC had earlier sacked the former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice I. A. Umezulike, the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, Justice Mohammed Tsamiya; and Judge of Kano State High Court, Justice Kabiru Auta.
The main question now is did these sacked and suspended Judges flirt with politicians?