By: Chief Mike Ozekhome, Constitutional Lawyer, Human Rights Activist.
“The recent recall of suspended judges by the NJC gladdened my heart to no end.
“They were unduly punished even before arraignment, trial or conviction. That was putting the cart before the horse.
“That was carrying vindictiveness and lawlessness by so called anti-corruption fighters too far and to ludicrous level.
“I’ve even read some people saying they should not have been recalled until the “almighty” security agents decide in their whims and caprices when to charge them. This is incredible.
“What such protagonists are saying is that 8 months were not even enough to gather evidence and prosecute the judges; and that the judges should be criminalized and denied their job, their means of livelihood until whenever it pleases the powers that be to charge them to court.
“As for justice Ademola, he has been tried and discharged and acquitted. There was therefore no reason whatsoever to continue to prevent him from working.
“Until the appellate court upturns the earlier judgment of the lower court, such judgment subsists and is enforceable as has been done by the NJC.
“The only exception is if there was a stay of execution duly granted to stay the judgment, or if there was evidence of a valid appeal having been duly entered with the lower court’s proceedings having been transmitted to the appellate court.
“This is because a mere appeal does not operate as a stay of execution. It was therefore right, proper and legal for the NJC to have recalled the suspended judges to work.
“It was even too late in coming, since the initial recuse from work was done without legal justification.
“The state should actually make restitution by apologizing to the Judges.”
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