Ex-Enugu Chief Judge Remains In DSS Custody | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Ex-Enugu Chief Judge Remains In DSS Custody

Posted: Oct 13, 2016 at 4:05 pm   /   by   /   comments (1)




Justice Innocent Umezulike, the former Chief Judge of Enugu State who was among the seven judges arrested by the Department of State Security (DSS)  has remained in the custody in spite of the directive by The Presidency that the arrested judges be released on self recognizance.

Umezulike was sent on compulsory retirement by the National Judicial Council (NJC) aftet considering petitions against him, bothering on misconduct, forgery, bribery and corruption.

Last Saturday, DSS operatives in Enugu, acting on orders from above, picked up the former Chief Judge from his official residence.

Independent reliably gathered that Umezulike was moved to Abuja on Tuesday, after spending three nights at the DSS Headquarters in Enugu.

A source close to his family who confided in our correspondent, said Justice Umezulike was still in the custody of DSS in Abuja as at press time yesterday.

Our source said the former Chief Judge has been having serious health challenges for some time now and there were fears that his condition may worsen in the custody of DSS.

The NJC had in June this year, constituted a panel to try the Chief Judge after it received a memo from the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) referring to the Council a petition against the Chief Judge by a senior member of the bar, Mr. Peter Eze, who alleged forgery and misconduct against the Chief Judge.

Following the same petition, the AGF had also in the same vein asked the Nigerian Police to investigate the forgery allegation and further referred the allegation of the Enugu State Chief Judge corruptly enriching himself to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission for investigation.

It was gathered that Umezulike’s journey to inglorious retirement started in January last year when CJN queried him over complaint of judicial misconduct made against him by Mr. Eze.

The query with reference number: NJC/S.14/HC.EN/1/III/539 was dated 18th December 2014 and personally signed by the CJN.

In his petitions, Mr. Peter Eze, brought to the attention of the CJN various acts of misconduct of Justice Umezulike, which are in breach of the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

They are: “Organizing the Public Presentation of the Book “A B C of Contemporary Land Law in Nigeria” and inviting a litigant/a person with an interest in a suit before him to be the Special Guest of Honor.

“Accepting the Sum of N10 million publicly from Prince (Engr) Arthur Eze, a litigant in several suits pending before him for the purchase of copies of the said “A B C of Contemporary Land Law in Nigeria” at the public presentation of the book.

“Failure to disqualify himself from hearing cases in which Prince (Engr) Arthur Eze was a litigant before him or had an interest in the subject matter” the lawyer stated.

Other breaches by Justice Umezulike according to Eze, are deliberate failure to discharge administrative duties diligently, thereby leading to the miscarriage of Justice, signing of a judgment order in a suit which he did not hear and victimization.

Comments (1)

  • Moduola M. Michael Oct 13, 2016 at 5:58 pm Moduola M. Michael


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