On Thursday, November 3, 2016, NJC ordered all judges accused of corruption to step down until investigations are over.
According to Punch, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, said Malami told him of the decision.
Speaking on why the NJC asked the indicted judges to step down, Mohammed said “Justice is rooted in confidence and where confidence in our judges is undermined and independence eroded, it is the nation that ultimately suffers most while true democracy is fatally undermined.
“Certainly, the decision of the National Judicial Council at its last meeting reflects our desire to preserve this independence.
“Hence, we proclaimed to the world that any judicial officer that is standing trial will cease to perform judicial functions.
“The council took this stand following communications it received from the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice that he was embarking on the prosecution of the affected judicial officers for the offences disclosed against them from the evidence on the ground.”
Adding that “We must not forget that we operate a constitutional democracy which clearly prescribes the powers accorded to each organ of the state.
“I therefore wish to state without fear of contradiction that the third arm of government will remain resolute in its commitment and resolve to uphold its independence and to adjudicate with utmost fairness and justice prescribed in our constitution and the law.”
The National Judicial Council (NJC) had earlier said that it is not its responsibility to hand over corrupt judges to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or any anti-graft agency.