National Judicial Council, NJC yesterday appealed the judgment of a Federal High Court in Abuja which quashed the indictment of a former Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Hassan Gunmi (Rtd) as guilty of misconduct.
NJC’s opposition to the judgment delivered by Justice Abdukadir Abdu-Kafarati on March 17, 2015, is contained in a six-ground notice of appeal filed before the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal.
The appeal was jointly filed by the NJC, the Chairman of the panel that investigated Gunmi, Justice P.O Aderemi, and the panel members – Justice V.N Nebo, Justice Olatokunbo Olopade and the secretary of NJC.
The NJC had found Gumi, who is now the Emir of Gunmi in Zamfara State, guilty of interference with the execution of the judgment delivered by another judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Jude Okeke.
After the NJC set up a panel to investigate the allegation against him, the former Chief Judge filed the suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja challenging the power of the panel to investigate him.
He also voluntarily retired before the investigative panel could arrive at its findings.
In its findings after investigation into the allegation against Gunmi, the NJC said it would have sacked him had he not earlier voluntarily retired.
But in its judgment in Gunmi’s suit, Justice Abdu-Kafarati set aside the indictment of the former CJ on the grounds that the NJC ceased to have disciplinary control over him after he had tendered his resignation letter and same acknowledged by the NJC.
Dissatisfied with the judgment, the NJC in its notice of appeal filed on April 23, 2015, contended that Justice Abdu-Kafarati erred and misdirected himself in law.
The council, which anchored its appeal on six grounds, maintained that the Federal High Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit in the first place, and that the suit was premature and that the investigating committee had made no decision on the allegation against the plaintiff as of the time he instituted the action.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the matter.