The National Judicial Council (NJC) Thursday found the former Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Justice Lawal Gummi, guilty of gross misconduct.
The council in a statement issued in Abuja and signed by its Spokesman, Mr. Soji Oye, said it also found that Gummi interfered with the execution of a judgment delivered by Justice Jude Okeke, also of the Abuja High Court.
Gummi, who had since been turbaned as the Emir of Gummi in Zamfara State will, however, not be punished by the council because he had since resigned from office.
The council nevertheless warned that any judicial officer, who committed similar offence would be punished severely.
The statement said: “The NJC at its 63rd meeting which was held on July 17 to 18, deliberated on the report and recommendation of its committee that investigated the petition forwarded to it by Nestello Gateway Group in Suit No. FCT/HC/CV/486/10 against Hon. Justice Lawal Hassan Gummi, the former Hon. Chief Judge of High Court of FCT, Abuja.
“At the end of deliberations, council accepted the findings of its Committee that Justice Gummi, interfered with execution of the judgment delivered by Justice Okeke of the FCT High Court, Abuja in the Suit between Nestello Gateway Group and Alhaji Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari, a former National Assembly member and the Governor of Zamfara State in which execution of the judgment had already been levied in favour of the petitioner.
“Council found the interference by Justice Gummi in the execution of the judgment as most unethical and highly reprehensible.
“The council also accepted the recommendation of its Investigation Committee that Justice Gummi was guilty of gross misconduct contrary to Rule 1(i) of the Code of Conduct for judicial officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which would have led to his removal from office.
“Council, however, took cognisance of the fact that Justice Gummi had already voluntarily retired from service and consequently decided not to recommend his removal from office.
“Council decided that henceforth, any similar misconduct by any Judicial Officer in the Federation will be visited with severe sanctions.”
The NJC also warned Hon. Justice M. A. Onyetenu of the Federal High Court for granting ex-parte order without hearing a pending motion on notice and applications in Suit No. FHC/PH/CS/236/2012 between Evangelist Charity O. Akah V. Alpaca Price Nigeria Limited and another.