Kano JSC suspends chief magistrate, court registrar for corruption

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The Kano State Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has slapped an indefinite suspension on a chief magistrate, Ms Talatu Makama for allegedly ordering money to be transferred from a frozen bank account into personal account domiciled in Guaranty Trust Bank

Spokesman for the JSC, Mr Baba Jibo-Ibrahim announced in a statement on Monday that Makama was suspended alongside the registrar of the State High Court, Mr Abdu Nasir, who also allegedly received official payment through his personal bank account.

He said the magistrate had in her confessional statement admitted to committing the act.

The statement reads: “The Kano State Judicial Service Commission at its 72nd meeting held on the 11th June 2024, has taken disciplinary actions against Chief Magistrate Talatu Makama, magistrate Court No 29, Senior Magistrate Rabi Abdulkadir, magistrate Court No 48 and Senior Registrar Abdu Nasir of Appeal section, High Court Kano.

“Sequel to the findings of the Judiciary Public Complaints Committee (JPCC) in respect to three petitions filed and investigated upon against Chief Magistrate Talatu Makama, the commission has adopted the recommendations of the JPCC.

“The JPCC conducted a thorough investigation on the matters and equally examined the chief magistrate’s response came up with the findings that her actions amount to gross misconduct.

“She made an order to GT Bank to transfer money in the petitioner’s account already frozen, into her personal account which she clearly admitted in her response,” the official statement said.

The statement said the JPCC in the second petition also found elements of judicial bias by the chief magistrate.

In the third petition, the council also found that “her conduct was despicable of a judicial officer where her worship (lordship) was found receiving case and making order to the police even before the case was directed to her.

“Chief Magistrate Talatu Makama is recalled from the bench and relieved of all judicial duties (indefinite suspension) effective immediately”, the statement said.

Similarly, Jibo-Ibrahim said another magistrate, Rabi Abdulkadir, was suspended for one year after the commission found her wanting in reckless handling of a case.

“Following the review of the circumstance surrounding the handling of the case between Commissioner of Police Vs Abubakar Salisu, by Rabi Abdulkadir, Senior Magistrate Court No. 48, the Commission found the actions of the Senior Magistrate to amount to judicial recklessness and therefore the Commission has resolved to recall the Magistrate and relieved her from judicial duties for a period of one calendar year. She has been instructed to cease all duties at Magistrate Court No. 48.”

The JSC also considered the investigation report on the alleged misconduct of senior registrar, Mr Nasir of the Appeals Department of the High Court and found unsatisfactory the response of chief magistrate court 60, Tijjani Minjibir, thus, equally got sanctioned for official wrongdoing.

“The report confirmed that Abdu Nasir received payments of fees meant for court records into his personal account, which constitutes serious misconduct.

“Consequently, the commission issued a strong warning to Abdu Nasir and also deferred his promotion for one year.

“The commission also at its 73rd meeting held on 20th June 2024, deliberated on the petitions received against chief magistrate court 60 manned by Tijjani Saleh Minjibir. The response to the queries issued were found unsatisfactory.

“The commission viewed the actions of the chief magistrate to amount to serious misconduct and judicial recklessness and unanimously took the decision to recall Tijjani Saleh Minjibir from judicial duties for a period of one year effective immediately. He is to cease all judicial activities and report to the High Court Headquarters for posting”, Jibo-Ibrahim said.

He added: “The commission will continue to apply the appropriate sanctions against any erring staff particularly those saddled with judicial responsibilities in order to safeguard the integrity and accountability of the judicial system and maintain the confidence of the public.

“These disciplinary actions underscore the Judicial Service Commission’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of judicial conduct and ensuring the integrity of the legal system.”

With Premium Times report