Suspended Ondo magistrates petition NJC, say JSC action illegal
Some magistrates who were suspended by the Ondo State Judicial Service Commission (JSC) have petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) for suspending 60 magistrates and six senior registrars.
They asked the commission to call the JSC to order for what they described as an unlawful act.
One of the suspended magistrates, Aderonke Fadoju, disclosed this to journalists in Akure, saying copies of the petition have been sent to the Attorney General of Federation (AGF), Magistrates Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Fadoju, who was Grade II Magistrate of the state judiciary, lamented that they were yet to receive any notification from the plenary to consider the perceived irregularity in their appointment.
She said the September 14, 2017 suspension was illegal since there was no constituted JSC, insisting that the suspension was a ploy to sack them.
“The said plenary session had their meeting on September 22, 2017 at the end of which the Ondo State Judicial Service Commission came up with an advertisement,” she added.
She lamented that the advertisement about the vacant positions of magistrates and senior registrars, saying, “This advertisement was not directed to the suspended magistrates.
“Till date, we are yet to hear from the said plenary session as to the outcome, we neither heard nor received any other letter from the Ondo State JSC determining our position regarding the suspension.”
She explained that the treatment was unfair and unjust with most of them having spent over five years as magistrates and their appointments having been confirmed by state government two years after.
“Some were even converted from staff attorneys to magistrates after plenary sessions. Some have written promotion examinations and have been promoted while others are awaiting confirmation having spent close to two years without any misconduct.
Fadoju, who documents to the petition, said the JSC’s action was viewed as perceived victimisation and witch-hunt against them.
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