ABUJA—THE House of Representatives yesterday moved to reduce the power of the President in the sack of judges. In this direction, the House has called for the involvement of National Judicial Council ,NJC, in the procedure for the removal of head of courts to avoid victimisation by the executive.
This was contained in a Bill, entitled An act to pursuant to Section 9(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) to alter Section 292 (1) (A) and (i) (ii) to include the National Judicial Council in the procedure for the removal of heads of courts established by the Constitution under Section 6 (5), promoted by Garba Datti Muhammad, APC, Kaduna.
Before now, the NJC can only recommend an erring judge to the President, but if the Bill is eventually passed, the body would be involved in the discipline or removal of any erring judge. Leading the debate on the Bill, which passed second reading on the floor of the House yesterday, Datti said the principal purpose of the proposed amendment “is to ensure that judicial officers serving as heads of courts are not victimised through removal by executive fiat, acting in concert with the legislature without any established or verifiable evidence.”
He pointed out that the objective of the Bill was to “subject judicial personnel serving as heads of courts established under Section 6 (5) of the Constitution can be removed only upon the advice of National Judicial Council.