From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The axe of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, is currently dangling on the head of a judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), judiciary for issuing direct criminal summons against a former Governor of the Central Bank (CBN), Prof. Charles Soludo.
Already, the CJN has ordered the Judicial Service Committee (JSC) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to immediately initiate disciplinary action against them.
The Upper Area Court Judge, whose identity is being kept under wrap, issued the criminal charges against the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Anambra State, over alleged serial abuse of office and breach of Code of Conduct for public officers, when he was the Governor of CBN between May 29, 2004 – May 29, 2009.
The Upper Area Court had, on August 23, 2021, issued a direct Criminal Summons against Soludo over perjury, corruption and false assets declaration which is completely outside the jurisdiction of the Upper Area Court.
He, consequently, ordered Soludo to appear before it over alleged serial abuse of office and breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers, while he held office as the CBN governor between May 29, 2004 and May 29, 2009.
Daily Sun had reported that the direct criminal complaint was brought by one Oliver Bitrus pursuant to Sections 88 and 89 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.
The criminal summons marked DC/CR/556/2021, which was issued in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code (CAP 30:255) from the Upper Area Court, Zuba, Abuja, was predicated upon the complaint filed on July 14, 2021, by counsel to the complainant, Ezea Ferdinand.
It ordered Soludo to appear before the court on August 23, 2021, in respect of the allegations made against him. According to court documents, the complainant, Oliver Bitrus, alleged that between the period Prof. Soludo held office as a public officer he flagrantly breached the code of conduct for public officer by buying or acquiring interest in a property in the United Kingdom.
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