Published On: Mon, Jun 17th, 2019

Rejection of CJ not on religious ground, says Kebbi Assembly

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By Ese Awhotu

The Kebbi State House of Assembly has condemned in its entirety a report that Governor Bagudu has refused to confirm Kebbi female acting Chief Judge, Petitions National Judicial Council for being Christian.
The Kebbi Assembly made the condemnation yesterday in a statement by Abdulmumini Ismaila Kamba, Rt. Honourable, Speaker Kebbi State House of Assembly.
According to the statement, the Kebbi Assembly, said there is no truth to allegation of religion as an issue in Kebbi State as contained in the report(not by Peoples Daily)
It said Kebbi State is a multi ethnic and multi religious state and every faith or ethnicity is treated equally.
The statement emailed to Peoples Daily in Abuja on Sunday reads in full; “The attention of the Kebbi State House of Assembly has been drawn to a story circulation in the Social Media with the title: “Kebbi Female Acting Chief Judge Petitions National Judicial Council over Governor Bagudu’s refusal to confirm her for being Christian”
“In it, it was alleged that the Kebbi State House of Assembly had written to the Kebbi State Governor confirming Justice Asabe Karatu as Chief Judge of Kebbi State on January 17th, 2019. This is not correct.
There was never such a communication.
“The Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar A Bagudu, wrote to the Honourable House on June 02, 2018 appointing Justice Asabe Karatu as Chief Judge and seeking the confirmation of the House as required by the Constitution. Justice Asabe Karatu was invited by the House on August, 1st 2018.
“During the confirmation hearing which Justice Karatu attended in the company of some Higher Court Judges it was observed by Honourable Members that the Primary School Leaving Certificate presented by Justice Karatu was altered severally, including alteration to the date of birth from May 1952 to May 1954.. Justice Karatu accepted that she was aware of the alterations but that they were done by the Headmaster.
“On account of the alterations and other inconsistencies in her credentials, the Honourable House rejected the request by the Governor and declined to confirm her as Chief Judge of Kebbi State.
“Subsequently, and on three other occasions, the State Governor, Senator Bagudu, wrote and sought her confirmation. On all the occasions the Honourable House maintained it’s refusal confirm Justice Asabe Karatu as Chief Judge of Kebbi State on account of the alterations and inconsistencies with the last such rejection made by the Honourable House on May 15th ,2019.
“For the record under our Constitution it is the Honourable House of Assembly and not the Governor that have the power to confirm a Chief Judge. At no time did the House, at Plenary or an Executive session confirm the appointment of Justice Karatu as claimed in the social media story. The purported letter mentioned in the story said to be from the House of Assembly addressed to the Governor was never written by the Kebbi State House of Assembly.
“The Kebbi State House of Assembly condemns the story in its entirety and there is no truth to allegation of religion as an issue in Kebbi State. In fact, it is noteworthy that the former Chief Judge of the State is of the Christian faith. Kebbi State is a multi Ethnic and multi religious state and every faith or ethnicity is treated equally.”

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