SaharaReporters has learned that the National Judicial Council (NJC) of Nigeria interviewed both Justice Garba Lawal and Justice Amina Augie as possible replacements on the Supreme Court of Nigeria. It will be recalled that Justice Muntaka-Comassie, of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, retired last week.
Mrs. Augie, appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2002, has had a long and storied history as a judge in Nigeria working to compromise justice and due process. She was wife to the late Kebbi State Senator Adamu Augie, who died in 2001. Her daughter, Maryam Adamu Augie, married National Assembly Representative Abdulmumin Jibrin from Kano State in an opulent ceremony whose attendees included former Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Maryam Abacha.
On June 29th, 2013 SaharaReporters exposed Mrs. Augie as a main player in a plot to free Mr. Abacha’s once powerful Chief Security Officer, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha. Mr. Al-Mustapha was convicted and sentenced to death for assassinating Mrs. Kudirat Abiola, the wife of renowned democracy activist and rightful winner of the 1993 presidential election MKO Abiola.
As a Justice in the Court of Appeal, Mrs. Augie stepped in as the lead judge of Mr. Al-Mustapha’s appeal on June 10th, 2013 under mysterious circumstances and worked together with Joseph Daudu to free him of the of the culpability for the murder of Mrs. Abiola. Mr. Daudu previously worked as Mr. Abacha’s henchman when he was asked to serve on the kangaroo trial of Ken Saro-Wiwa and other Ogoni activists in 1995.
On July 12th, 2013 Mrs. Augie, as the lead Justice of the Court of Appeal, ruled that Mr. Al-Mustapha because the Lagos High Court which convicted him was stacked against him. Mrs. Augie’s ruling freed Mr. Al-Mustapha from his death sentence.
Mr. Daudu and Mrs. Augie also worked together in the conspiracy to absolve the former Delta State Governor James Ibori of corruption charges in 2008. As the lead Justice in the Kaduna State Court of Appeal Mrs. Augie ruled that Mr. Ibori should be returned to his home State to face charges of fraud and financial crime. Her ruling allowed the Federal High Court to unroll a plot to set up a kangaroo trial for Mr. Ibori, which was paid for and staffed by his cousin, then Delta State Governor Emmanuel Udughan. Mr. Ibori fled the country years later and is now incarcerated in the United Kingdom for financial crimes.
Sources speaking with our SaharaReporters correspondent noted that under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan the former Chief Justice of Nigeria Aloma Mukhtar moved to appoint Mr. Lawal to the Court of Appeal but was stopped from doing so due to Mr. Jonathan’s interference.