The National Judicial Council (NJC) had kicked against call by Civic Society Network Against Corruption, against forwarding Justice Uwani Abba-Aji’s name to Senate for confirmation as Justice of the Supreme Court.
This is contained in a statement signed by the council’s Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye and made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.
Oye said the council’s response was sequel to a publication by the group urging President Muhammadu Buhari not to forward the judge’s name to the Senate for confirmation on account of alleged fraud.
“In as much as the National Judicial Council would not join issues with anyone on this matter, it is necessary to put the records straight.
“Members of the public would recall that sequel to the request of the AGF in 2016, Abba-Aji and seven (7) other judicial officers were directed to recue themselves from performing their judicial functions.
“However, Justice Abba-Aji and five (5) others were recalled as only three (3) out of the judicial officers then under investigations were arraigned in court.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Justice Abba-Aji has since been sitting in court and no investigation agency has filed any new allegation against His Lordship.
“ In fact, his international passport had been returned to him and he had been travelling outside the country without any hindrance, signalling that the investigation agencies have nothing new against His Lordship.
“The law of the land remains that no one is to be punished except for an offence established by due process of law’’, Oye said.
He reiterated that the council was committed to a zero tolerance for corruption, adding that such was also the stand of Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the group has premised its objection to the appointment of Justice Abba-Aji on the report of an online newspaper of Oct. 16 2016.
The report had featured Justice Abba-Aji’s name as one of the judicial officers under investigation for corruption by security agencies for allegedly accepting bribe from a senior lawyer currently standing trial.
The civil society group had implored the president to withhold submission of Justice Abba- Aji’s name to the Senate until he was purged of the allegations of corruption.