High Court top judge resigns from post

High Court's Chief Judge, Sujau Usman has resigned from the post.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) was pursuing his dismissal and sent the recommendation to the Parliament. The issue was forwarded to the Parliament’s Judiciary Committee on Monday.

In a statement released by Sujau Usman announcing his resignation, Sujau said the JSC’s decision to recommend his dismissal was a vicious act. Denying all allegations raised against him, Sujau said such acts will enable the easy dismissal of judges. He also noted the lack of an independent work environment.

According to the judicial watchdog, the commission investigated allegations of misconduct against the judge. The allegations include an unofficial visit to Ga. Gemanafushi during the 2018 presidential election campaign, during which the judge actively participated in campaigning for a candidate. He is also alleged to have met the family of a suspect detained under a court order, and offering to release the suspect in exchange for their vote for a certain candidate in the presidential election. Sujau was placed on a two-month suspension on July 22.

Disciplinary issues have been raised against Judge Shujau Usman in the past. He has presided over several high profile cases, both in the lower court and in the High Court. He was also among the Criminal Court bench that found former president Mohamed Nasheed guilty of terrorism.