President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the compulsory retirement of Justice Lambo Akanbi of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt division, with immediate effect for misconduct.
It was learnt the President’s approval followed a recommendation by the National Judicial Council (NJC) after its 74th meeting, on November 4 and 5.
The justice was relieved of his position in form of an obligatory retirement after being found guilty of breaking the code of conduct for judicial officers.
He was indicted for accepting N100m from Governor Nyesom Wike upon which he sacked about 22 local government chairmen and councillors for supposedly being elected on an unlawful premise.
NJC’s Acting Director, Information, Soji Oye, who confirmed this in a statement yesterday, said Justice Akanbi was fired for various allegations levelled against him by Shell Petroleum Development Corporation Nigeria Limited in its petition to the NJC.
Shell was said to have accused Akanbi of unilaterally appointing Mr. Emeka Nkwo of CYN-JAC (NIG) Ltd, who was not proposed by any of the parties as referee or valuer in Suit Nos FHC/PH/CS/434/2012 and FHC/PH/CS/435/2012.
“He also appointed the same referee or valuer in Suit FHC/PH/CS/25/2003, which is another matter involving one of the parties in the first suit.
“He heard and concluded the case without dealing with the Notice of Preliminary Objection on the Jurisdiction of his court.
“He sat on the case in the Federal High Court, Yenagoa in Suit FHC/YNG/CS/30/2013 after a new judge had been transferred to the state without a fiat from the chief judge of the Federal High Court.
“The judge also delivered the ruling in suit No: FHC/PH/CS/07/2009, four months after final addresses were taken without any cogent reason contrary to the constitutional provisions that judgment should be delivered within a period of 90 days.
“Justice Akanbi also dismissed the application to set aside the report prepared by the valuer, CYN – JAC (NIG) Ltd and later changed the ruling to judgment, which prevented the respondent from pursuing the application for a stay of proceedings at the Court of Appeal.
“That Justice Akanbi also failed to give a copy of his ruling delivered on June 12, 2013 to the complainant until June 28, 2013.
“In the exercise of its constitutional powers, at the same meetings of November 4 and 5, 2015, council had suspended Justice Lambo Akanbi from office before the approval for his compulsory retirement by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR,” Oye said.