Thursday, July 18, 2024

Judicial Commission: Court gives two Kano judges 48-hour to resign

“The judges should desist from performing executive functions assigned to them by the governor of Kano state in courtrooms meant to adjudicate disputes,” the court ruled.

• July 4, 2024
Judges used to illustrate the story[Credit: Vanguard News]

The Kano Division of the Federal High Court, on Thursday, gave Justice Farouk Lawan and Justice Zuwaira Yusuf 48 hours to resign as chairmen of the judicial commission of inquiry appointed by Governor Abba Kabir-Yusuf.

Mr Kabir-Yusuf inaugurated the commission on political violence and cases of missing persons and recovery of misappropriated public properties and assets from May 2015 to May 2023.

The national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje, through his counsel, Sanusi Musa, sought an order stopping Mr Kabir-Yusuf, from probing his administration.

The respondents were the National Judicial Council, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation And Fiscal Commission, Kano’s attorney-general, Justice Farouk Lawan and Justice Zuwaira Yusuf.

Delivering a judgment, Justice Simon Amobeda said if the judges failed to comply with the 48-hour deadline, the National Judicial Council would stop forthwith the payment of their remuneration.

“The judges should desist from performing executive functions assigned to them by the governor of Kano state in courtrooms meant to adjudicate disputes between persons and authorities in Kano state.

“The action by the governor to investigate Ganduje without appealing an earlier court judgment by Justice A. M Liman on March 24 amounts to abuse of office and undermining the sanctity of the judiciary,” he stated.

Mr Liman held that Mr Ganduje could only be investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

He said that by the combined provisions of Sections 153(1)(i) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, CFRN, (as altered), Paragraph 21(d) of Part I of the Third Schedule Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered)and sections 1.

“Sections 3 and 6 of the Commission of Inquiry Law, Cap. 26, Laws of Kano State, the Governor of Kano State has no power to appoint the 4th and 5th Defendants and administer another Oath of Office on them to serve as Chairmen of Commission of Inquiry constituted by the governor.

“An office meant for commissioners of Kano state government in order to exercise executive powers assigned to them by the governor of Kano State and stop them from performing their functions as judges of the High Court of Kano state, without recourse to the first defendant,” Mr Amobeda explained.

“That, by the combined effects of the provisions of Sections 6, 84, 153(1)(1), 271(2), 272 together with Paragraph 21(c) of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered).

“The fourth and fifth defendants are not legally permitted, while still purporting to hold the Office of Judge of High Court of Kano State.

“To accept appointments as chairmen of commissions of inquiry with quasi-judicial powers equivalent powers to that of a magistrate court and subject to review by a Judge of the High Court of Kano state,” Mr Amobeda said. 


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