The National Judicial Council has cleared Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court of allegations of misconduct leveled against him with respect to the judgement delivered against the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the Peoples’ Democratic Party.
In a letter dated March 15, 2017 and signed by its Secretary, Mr. Danladi Halilu, the NJC said it found no merit in the petition against the Judge.
The council said it deliberated on the petition at its meeting held on February 23, 2017 and found no merit in the petitions.
Justice Abang had on July 29, 2016 declared as illegal the Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee of the national leadership of the party.
The judge ruled that the Makarfi-faction was illegal because it was a product of the party’s convention which held on May 21in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, in defiance of an earlier order of Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, which had stopped the said convention from holding.
However, not too satisfied with the decision of the court, Senator Makarfi wrote a petition to the NJC dated August 25,2016, in suit Nos. FHC/ABJ/CS/439/2016 and FHC/ABH/CS/464/2016 accusing Justice Abang of assuming appellate powers to sit over the decision of the court of coordinate jurisdiction.
But the NJC in its letter with reference number NJC/ F.3/FHC 44/VII/55 stated, “At the end of deliberations, the council found that your petition finds no merit as there was no sufficient material before the NJC to infer that the judge sat on appeal over the decision of his brother judge of coordinate jurisdiction.