Justice Gladys Olotu, a retired judge of the Federal High Court, has written President Muhammadu Buhari a 13-page petition accusing former Chief Justice of Nigeria Aloma Muktar, who served under former President Goodluck Jonathan, of forcing her to retire.
In her petition titled, “Application seeking your gracious intervention in my victimization by Aloma Muktar,” the retired judge accused the ex-CJN of “unjust and unconstitutional premature retirement as a judge” and urged the president to look into the circumstances that led to her removal as a judicial officer.
In the petition, the retired jurist stated that she was 54 years old when the former CJN recommended her for compulsory retirement, which was approved by the president.
Mrs. Olotu stated that she was compulsorily retired by the former CJN in order to satisfy “the wicked agenda of some judicial consultants” that wanted her to pervert the course of justice, but she refused.
According to the former judge, her ordeal started because she did not accede to the request of a former CJN, Justice SMA Belgore, and Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion to pervert the course of justice in some cases involving a widow and her children in suit No. FHC/UUY/CS/250/2003 and a case involving Mrs. Mona Youssefian and three others vs. Elf Petroleum Nigeria Limited.
She added that in a suit filed before a Federal High Court in Uyo, the widow and her children sought redress over alleged negligence that led to the death of their husband and father on board a hotel vessel operated by the defendants.
Mrs. Olotu stated that she gave judgment in favor of the family, which they sought to enforce in garnishee proceedings filed in the Port Harcourt division of the Federal High Court.
According to the petitioner, the judicial consultants acting on behalf of Elf Petroleum and other defendants wanted her to vacate the garnishee order she made but she refused.
“When I refused to do so, I incurred their wrath. This is my real offense and not any other picture Justice Aloma painted to the world,” Mrs. Olotu said.
She added that the former CJN unconstitutionally used the instrumentality of her offices as CJN and Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to further the vendetta of the judicial consultants.
The petitioner added that the former CJN set up “witch-hunting panels” to find justification for her compulsory retirement and that she was not given a fair hearing.
Mrs. Olotu further alleged that the immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke, was also conscripted into the conspiracy by misleading President Jonathan into approving the recommendation for her compulsory retirement, stating that the former CJN also withheld several material facts and withheld her entire defense to the petition written against her.
She went further to say that her retirement contravened several constitutional provisions, particularly Section 36 on fair hearing, adding that she wrote several letters to former President Jonathan but to no avail.
The former judge urged President Buhari to “please pay attention to [her] relentless cry for truth and justice.”