The Kebbi state Governor, Atiku Bagudu, has appointed Muhtar Imam Jega, as the acting chief judge of the state.
Naija News recalls that Justice Jega’s predecessor was sacked on Thursday, following the alleged refusal of the State House of Assembly to confirm Her appointment as the substantive chief judge in January.
According to the embattled Justice who had earlier petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC), before her dismissal alleged that the governor did not confirm her appointment because she is a Christian. But in a statement, Abdulmumini Kamba, the speaker of the assembly, said lawmakers had rejected Karatu all the times the governor wrote them for approval.
He said there was never communication from the lawmakers confirming her appointment.
“The Kebbi Governor, Senator Abubakar A Bagudu, wrote to the Honourable House on June 01, 2018 appointing Justice Asabe Karatu as Chief Judge and seeking the confirmation of the House as required by the Constitution,” he said.
“Justice Asabe Karatu was invited by the House on August 1, 2018. During the confirmation hearing which Justice Karatu attended in the company of some Higher Court Judges was discovered by Honourable Members that the Primary School Leaving Certificate presented by Justice Karatu was altered severally, including an 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 Govenor, Senator Bagudu, wrote and sought her confirmation. On all the occasions the Honourable House maintained its refusal to confirm Justice Asabe Karatu as Chief Judge of Kebbi State on account of alterations and inconsistencies with the last such rejection made by the Honourable House on May 15, 2019.”
The speaker said the purported letter showing the lawmakers confirmed Karatu wasn’t written by them.
He also added that it is noteworthy that the former chief judge of the state was from a Christian, and that Kebbi state is a multi-ethnic and religious state where everyone is treated equally.