The National Judicial Council (NJC) has disowned a letter purportedly emanating from it and surrendering its statutory powers and functions on judges’ appointments and promotions to state governors.
The NJC said that the letter addressed to the Chief Judge of Kebbi State and purportedly signed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola did not emanate from the council nor the CJN who is the chairman of the council.
According to NJC’s director of information, Mr Soji Oye, there was no iota of truth whatsoever in the fake letter.
The NJC said the letter titled “Order of Seniority of Judges of the High Court of Kebbi state and recommendation of Justice Umar Abubakar as the substantive chief judge of Kebbi state” addressed to the chief judges stating “that under section 10 of the existing law of Kebbi state 1996, His Excellency, the Governor, has the power to determine Seniority of Judges and the National Judicial Council has no power to override or reverse the decision of His Excellency.
“The office of the Head of Court or Chief Judge is purely a political appointment to be decided by the governor of a state.
“For clarification and avoidance of doubt, the National Judicial Council hereby emphatically disclaimed the letter as there is no iota of truth in it and no such letter ever emanated from the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria or the Council.
‘The public is hereby advised to discountenance the letter and its content.”
In the statement that was obtained yesterday, the council said it has reported the case to the relevant security agencies to investigate and bring to book whoever is behind the act.