According to reports, the NJC initially refused to give in to the public pressures to suspend the judges on the grounds that the allegations against them had not been substantiated. However, the judges voluntarily stepped down from court sittings.
NJC’s decision was made after the council’s 7th meeting between Wednesday and Thursday. A communique, signed by NJC’s Director of Information, Soji Oye, was issued at the end of the meeting stating that the decision was taken to avoid allowing persons under investigation to partake in presiding over judicial matters at the same time.
The communique stated:
“Council also decided that Judicial Officers shall not be standing trial for alleged corruption related offences and be performing judicial functions at the same time. Council however decided that it will ensure that Judicial Officers who are being investigated for alleged high profile criminal offences do not perform judicial functions until their cases are concluded.”
The judges were arrested on October 7 by the Department of State Services (DSS) in a sting operation involving judicial officers of the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.