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Buhari approves Justice Akanbi’s compulsory retirement

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 that the President’s approval followed
a recommendation by the National Judicial Council
(NJC) after its 74 meeting, held on November 4th
and 5th this year.

NJC’s Acting Director, Information, Soji Oye, who
confirmed this in a statement Wednesday, said
Justice Akanbi was fired over various allegations
leveled against him by Shell Petroleum Company

Nigeria Limited in its petition to the NJC.
Shell was said to have accused Akanbi of
unilaterally appointing one 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 Hon. Chief Judge of the Federal High

“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

“Justice Akanbi also dismissed the application to
set aside the report prepared by the valuer, CYN –
JAC (NIG) LTD and later changed the juling to
judgement which prevented the respondent from
pursuing the application for stay of proceedings at
the Court of Appeal.

“That Hon. Justice Akanbi also failed to give a copy
of his Ruling delivered on 12 June, 2013 to the
complainant until 28 June, 2013.

“In the exercise of its constitutional powers, at the
same meetings of 4 and 5 November, 2015,
Council had suspended Hon. Justice Lambo Akanbi
from office before the approval for his compulsory
retirement by President Muhammadu Buhari,
GCFR,” Oye said.

Justice Akanbi featured prominently in the dispute
between then Governor Rotimi Amaechi and the
NJC over the appointment of a Chief Judge in Rivers
State, which led to the closure of the state’s court
for over a year.

He gave a judgment which was at variance with the
position taken by the NJC in the matter.

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