Nasarawa: Why we suspended Chief Magistrate Abdusalam Abubakar—JSC

  • As Kano Chief Magistrate gets indefinite suspension

The Nasarawa State Judicial Service Commission has handed down a six-month suspension without pay to the Chief Magistrate of the New Karu Magistrates’ Court, Hon. Abdulsalam Abubakar Esq.

That was after the commission found that the magistrate abused his judicial powers.

Specifically, he was found to have unjustifiably frozen bank accounts belonging to Mr. Israel Ukoko and Bridges & Stones Property Ltd,

Magistrate Abubakar has also been barred from being moved up to the bench whenever the opportunity arises.

The sanctions arose after an investigation into a petition filed by Oviemuno Obobolo Esq of Ovie Obobolo & Co.

The petition was handled by the Commission’s Committee for Appointments, Promotions, and Discipline (CAPD).

After its meeting held on May 24, 2024, the Commission approved the findings and recommendations of CAPD and imposed the penalties on Hon. Abdulsalam Abubakar.

The Director of Human Resources, Ramatu Idris Esq., conveyed the Commission’s decision in a letter addressed to the petitioner, Oviemuno Urobulo Eso.

The letter, dated May 28, 2024, emphasized the Commission’s commitment to upholding the integrity of the judiciary and ensuring that judicial officers act within the confines of their authority.

Similarly, the Kano State Judicial Service Commission (JSC) clamped an indefinite suspension on a Chief Magistrate who allegedly ordered money to be transferred from a frozen bank account into her own.

Talatu Makama was sanctioned alongside another magistrate and a registrar of the State High Court, Abdu Nasir, who also allegedly received official payment through his personal bank account.

The JSC spokesperson, Baba Jibo-Ibrahim, announced this in a statement he issued in Kano on Monday.

“The Kano State Judicial Service Commission at it’s 72nd meeting held on the 11th June 2024, has taken disciplinary actions against Chief Magistrate Talatu Makama, magistrate Court No 29, Senior Magistrate Rabi Abdulkadir, magistrate Court No 48 and Senior Registrar Abdu Nasir of Appeal section, High Court Kano.

“Sequel to the findings of the Judiciary Public Complaints Committee (JPCC) in respect to three petitions filed and investigated upon against Chief Magistrate Talatu Makama, the commission has adopted the recommendations of the JPCC.

“The JPCC conducted a thorough investigation on the matters and equally examined the chief magistrate’s response came up with the findings that her actions amounts to gross misconduct.

“She made an order to GT Bank to transfer money in the petitioner’s account already frozen, into her personal account which she clearly admitted in her response,” the official statement said.

The statement said the JPCC in the second petition also found elements of judicial bias by the chief magistrate.

In the third petition, the council also found that “her conduct was despicable of a judicial officer where her worship (lordship) was found receiving case and making order to the police even before the case was directed to her.

“Chief Magistrate Talatu Makama is recalled from the bench and relieved of all judicial duties (indefinite suspension) effective immediately”, the statement said.

Also, the spokesperson said another magistrate, Rabi Abdulkadir, was suspended for one year after the commission found her wanting in reckless handling of a case.

“Following the review of the circumstance surrounding the handling of the case between Commissioner of Police Vs Abubakar Salisu, by Rabi Abdulkadir, Senior Magistrate Court No. 48, the Commission found the actions of the Senior Magistrate to amount to judicial recklessness and therefore the Commission has resolved to recall the Magistrate and relieved her from judicial duties for a period of one calendar year. She has been instructed to cease all duties at Magistrate Court No. 48.”

The JSC also considered the investigation report on the alleged misconduct of Senior Registrar, Mr Nasir, of the Appeals Department of the High Court and found unsatisfactory the response of chief magistrate court 60, Tijjani Minjibir, thus, equally got sanctioned for official wrongdoing.

“The report confirmed that Abdu Nasir received payments of fees meant for court records into his personal account, which constitutes serious misconduct.

“Consequently, the commission issued a strong warning to Abdu Nasir and also deferred his promotion for one year”, the spokesperson said.

“The commission also at its 73rd meeting held on 20th June 2024, deliberated on the petitions received against chief magistrate court 60 manned by Tijjani Saleh Minjibir. The response to the queries issued were found unsatisfactory.

“The commission viewed the actions of the chief magistrate to amount to serious misconduct and judicial recklessness and unanimously took the decision to recall Tijjani Saleh Minjibir from judicial duties for a period of one year effective immediately. He is to cease all judicial activities and report to the High Court Headquarters for posting”, Mr Jibo-Ibrahim said.

“The commission will continue to apply the appropriate sanctions against any erring staff particularly those saddled with judicial responsibilities in order to safeguard the integrity and accountability of the judicial system and maintain the confidence of the public.

“These disciplinary actions underscore the Judicial Service Commission’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of judicial conduct and ensuring the integrity of the legal system”, the JSC warned.

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