We now have very corrupt people in Bauchi judiciary – Chief Judge, Talatu Umar

The Chief Judge (CJ) of Bauchi State, Justice Rabi Talatu Umar, has lamented that there are now very corrupt people in the state judiciary, adding that such people are using religious sentiments to sustain their nefarious activities.

Justice Umar raised the concerns on Tuesday while swearing-in Commissioners for Oath from the Sharia Court of Appeal Division of the state judiciary.

The CJ informed that while efforts were being made to generate revenue into the coffers of the state government, the corrupt elements in the judiciary had their own forms and receipts to deprive the government of revenues.

She said those perpetrating the fraudulent acts were doing so with active connivance, support and encouragement of their godfather who was using religious sentiment to cause disharmony between the High Court and the Sharia Court of Appeal in the state.

In her words: “The truth is that we now have very corrupt people in the judiciary who have their personal forms, receipts and even stamp using their boys to deprive the government of revenue and defraud unsuspecting members of the public.

“What is happing now is a climax of irrevocable standing, payment order granted by the then Chief Registrar of the High Court on the 23rd of June 2009 (years before I became the Chief Judge) which resulted in the judgment of the Federal High Court against the High Court of Justice of Bauchi State in favour of AMCON in Suit No. FHC/BAU/CS/37/2017 delivered on 8th December 2020 prompting AMCON to garnishee the account of Bauchi State, which matter is still lingering in court.

“The staff perpetrating these acts do so with the active connivance, support and encouragement of their godfather who now resorts to using religious sentiment to cause disharmony between the High Court and the Sharia Court of Appeal.

“He is making a frantic effort to undermine the integrity of his own organisation using religious sentiment to deceive the general public to believe in his cause. That will not happen under my watch.”

Justice Umar informed that she had always directed the state Chief Registrar of the High Court, Barrister Emmanuel Danjuma, a Christian, who people claimed she had imposed on the Sharia Court of Appeal, to investigate each complaint against their nefarious activities.

She added that her recent directive for investigation was the instance some staff of the High Court entered into a contractual relationship with various companies worth billions of Naira using forged stamps, letterheads of the office of the Chief Registrar and forms with neither her nor the Chief Registrar’s knowledge, authority or consent.

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“With each complaint against the nefarious activities of these disgruntled elements, I always direct the Chief Registrar to investigate and all the reports are indicting the perpetrators which prompted hatred for the Chief Registrar. Such instigations are directives from me and not out of his own volition.

The CJ informed that in some instances some staff were investigated and charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), while some others were investigated and charged to court by the police and subsequently remanded at the correctional service facility.

“All these fraudulent contractual transactions being entered into by these enemies of the judiciary to defraud innocent people are with full support and active connivance of their godfather who is a senior member of the organisation operating behind the scene and share in the proceeds of the fraud.

“It is worrisome that we are fighting to stop these unfortunate activities in the judiciary by putting measures in place to check the menace but the perpetrators are fighting us back using religion.

“My intention is to extend the security documents to the Sharia Court of Appeal so as to carry the Hon. Grand Kadi along to check and stem the tide of this menace.

“It is unfortunate that people of questionable character are using religion cards to sustain and maintain their fraudulent activities,” she said.

The Chief Judge, however, advised the general public to verify any misinformation “and even look at the standing and antecedent of the people dishing out the misinformation”.

According to her, ” the general public should always verify and ascertain what contribution the peddlers of such rumours have made to the religion they are now using to sustain their nefarious activities and the contribution personally made to the religion to determine who among us is undermining the religion.”

Justice Umar then urged the new Commissioners for Oaths at the Sharia Court of Appeal to shun all forms of corruption, malpractices and unethical behaviour in the discharge of the onerous responsibilities bestowed on them.

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