The Chief Justice of Nigeria has said the National Judicial Council has no power to dismiss any judge even if found guilty of corrupt practices.
In a reply to a letter from Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), the CJN stressed that the "provision of the NJC's powers by the amended 1999 constitution states that the Council may only ‘recommend’ to the President and the Governors, the removal from office of Judicial Officers and to exercise disciplinary control over such Judicial Officers, which in effect is the extent of its power to discipline. Hence, the Council cannot, suo moto dismiss any Judicial Officer.”
While restating the willingness of the NJC to act upon any petition as well as commitment of the Nigerian judiciary to the fight against corruption, his Lordship opines "that any significant involvement in the fight against corruption will be upon a similar commitment of the Prosecutorial Agencies to actively prosecute their cases expeditiously when information about same is received.”
The reply is coming following SERAP's petition to the CJN to take over the cases of all the seven judges arrested and released by the Department of State Service (DSS) and refer the cases of those judges to anti-corruption agencies for conclusion of investigation and prompt prosecution.