Senior judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adeniyi Ademola has retired from the federal judicial service in controversial circumstances.
In a letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen dated December 6, 2017 titled: ‘Letter of Voluntary Retirement’, Justice Ademola explained that the latest letter "supercedes an earlier notice of retirement dated 25/09/2017."
The letter, which was sent through the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Kafarati, was also copied the Executive Secretary of the National Judicial Council (NJC), Ahmed Saleh.
Daily Trust understands that Justice Ademola had in the earlier notice proposed April, 2018 for his voluntary retirement from service in March, 2018.
The judge’s abrupt decision to retire came as a shock to staff and lawyers, who had earlier entered appearance in eight cases before the court, including a judgment involving Abimel Ibrahim and seven other police officers accused of Boko Haram activities in the North East. Family members of the police officers cried in the court, as hundreds of other cases have been thrown into limbo.
Justice Ademola was among the eight judges, who were arrested and detained by the Nigeria’s secret police, Department of State Services (DSS), following a raid in their homes on October 8, 2016.
The judge was arraigned on 18 count charges bordering on accepting gratification and illegal possession of firearms before an FCT High Court alongside his wife, Olabowale and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Joe Agi. They were however acquitted in April after they filed a no-case-submission through their lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN).
Despite the acquittal more petitions were stirred against the judge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and some lawyers after the NJC asked him and other judges to resume on June 7.