From Mohammed Ibrahim Kaduna
Kaduna State Governor Nasir El Rufai has tasked the new Acting Chief Judge of the State, Muhammed Lawal Bello to recruit judicial officers as the government has already granted approval to hire 40 magistrates.
The governor disclosed this in a statement issued by Mr Samuel Aruwan, the governor’s spokesman in Kaduna According to El’rufai, recruitment of the judicial officers should follow due process, saying that they (magistrates) will reduce the work-load of judges in the state.
Governor El’rufai also said so far his administration has recruited 70 new lawyers into the Ministry of Justice.
He said the administration is aware that there are no enough judges in the judiciary.
He promised to work with the judiciary towards remedying the situation.
“The government has granted approval to hire 40 new magistrates. We urge the acting Chief Judge to expedite this recruitment, in compliance with due process and in concert with the Judicial Service Commission.
“ The government has proposed a legislation to expand the jurisdiction of magistrates to determine matters involving monetary claims of up to N5 million. our magistrates are currently restricted to cases not above N500,000 ,” he said.
He pointed out that expanded remit of the magistrates should eventually reduce the high number of cases that begin at the high court.
“The Landlord and Tenant Law has also vested in magistrates, matters which were previously handled by rent tribunals. “ he said.
The governor also stated that Kaduna State House of Assembly has enacted a legislation for a new Penal Code and to domesticate the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.