Nigeria Judicial Council, NJC, is currently considering a petition before it against Justice NFN Ntong, over an order issued by the jurist last month at a High Court in Akwa Ibom State.
The order of ‘interim injunction’ is to restrain the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and other anti-corruption agencies from arresting former Akwa Ibom governor, Godswill Akpabio and others ex-governor of the state and other former government officials of the state.
The judgment given at Ikot-Ekpene in Akwa Ibom, dated July 13, 2016, in suit number HT/38A/2016 is between the Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State and the speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and 12 others.
The restraining order read in part: “An Order of Interim Injunction restraining any federal government agency, including Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, EFCC, and Inspector General of Police, from arresting, detaining or investigating any person or persons whether past or present official in Akwa Ibom State government without any report of indictment by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.”
However, a petition written and addressed to the NJC by a civil rights organisation, Global Development Centre for Rescue Mission in Nigeria, against the judge, demanded sanctioning of the judge.
The body described as reckless the interim order restraining the security agencies from moving against Akpabio and others for alleged corruption.
“It is therefore in the light of this clear and obvious acts of recklessness, ineptitude and perversion of justice that we have taken it upon ourselves as part of our mandate to expose and blow the whistle to bring this recklessness and perfidy of justice to your attention for necessary action as a deterrent to others who may be in the same position of Hon. Justice NFN Ntong.”
The group stated in the petition that “a dispassionate consideration of the terms of the interim orders made by the Hon. Justice Ntong, particularly with respect to orders 3 and 4 was to ensure that the federal government agencies constitutionally empowered to conduct criminal investigations and trials into acts of corruption are not only hindered, impeded but cowed in the performance of such duties.”

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