Justices Sylva Ngwuta and Inyang Okoro, two judges under investigation for corruption, have withdrawn from presiding over Supreme Court proceedings.The two judges will no longer sit during proceedings until their names are cleared, Punch Newspaper has reported. The duo had not been sitting since they were released along with other arrested judges between October 7 and 8, according to Mahmud Mohammed, outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria.
A source who attended a Thursday meeting with Mr. Mohammed and a delegation of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) said the judges withdrew from sitting at court on their own accord and were not suspended by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
“The CJN made it clear that the NJC could never have suspended the arrested judges in the absence of any evidence presented by their accusers,” a source told Punch Newspaper. “The CJN said the DSS, which leveled allegations against the judges, had not presented any evidence against them to the NJC on which any possibility of suspending them could be based.”
At the meeting, NBA President Abubakar Mahmoud denied claims that he had called for the suspension of the judges, saying he instead called on the implicated judges to recuse themselves until their names are cleared.