Osun high court judge recommended for compulsory retirement

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the compulsory retirement of a High Court Judge in Osun State, Justice S.O Falola, as it sets up panels to investigate 51 petitions against others over various acts of misconduct in the discharge of their judicial duties.

The Osun High Court Judge was recommended to Governor Ademola Adeleke for compulsory retirement for granting fraudulent orders against the provisions of the law.

At its 104th Meeting held in Abuja led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, the Council on Thursday invoked its constitutional powers and placed the judge on indefinite suspension from duties pending the time Governor Adeleke would give effect to its recommendation.

In a statement by the Director of Information Mister Soji Oye, the NJC indicated that Justice Falola granted a Garnishee Order Absolute against Polaris Bank for the sum of N283,174,000 in a questionable and strange manner and endorsement of the Order.

The compulsory retirement recommendation was made sequel to the findings of an Investigation Committee in a petition written against the Judge by one Dapo Kolapo Olowo and Polaris Bank.

Justice Falola was also found wanting to attach the account of the garnishee with another garnishee and not the account of the Judgment Debtor who had the legal obligation to pay the supposed judgment sum.

The NJC found that the Judge misconducted himself by entertaining suit No HIK/41/2018 when there was no evidence of a judgment of the Kwara State High Court before him, neither was there a Certificate of Registration of same in Osun State to confer jurisdiction on him.

It further found the conduct of the Judge travelling to Lagos to visit the Counsel of the Bank in his chambers on the issue of Garnishee Proceedings unbecoming of the standard expected of a Judicial Officer.

Consequently, the Council recommended him to Governor Adeleke for compulsory retirement with immediate effect.

The Council, however, declined the request of Governor Ademola Adeleke for permission to swear in the next Most Senior Judge in the State in an acting capacity, following allegations levelled against Justice Adepele Ojo, Chief Judge, Osun State, and the resolution of the State House of Assembly to suspend him.

The Council affirmed that Justice Ojo is still the recognised Chief Judge of Osun State and would not work on the resolution of a State House of Assembly, as it is the only body constitutionally empowered to investigate Judicial Officers and recommend same for any action to the Governor.

Consequently, it ordered that Osun State should revert to the status quo.

At the meeting presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, 11 probe panels were put in place to investigate 51 fresh petitions against other Judicial officers for gross acts of misconduct.