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Bauchi Assembly, Judiciary differ on promotion of Sharia judges

By Rauf Oyewole, Bauchi
15 November 2021   |   4:10 am
Bauchi State House of Assembly and the Judiciary have disagreed over the promotion of 18 Sharia judges to Upper Sharia judges.

Bauchi State House of Assembly and the Judiciary have disagreed over the promotion of 18 Sharia judges to Upper Sharia judges.

Baballe Dambam (Dambam/Dagauda/Jalam Constituency) had raised the matter on the floor of the Assembly during the week, saying the House should halt the “lopsided appointment of judges of upper courts in the state’s Ministry of Justice.”

The lawmaker explained that the ministry was set to appoint judges of upper courts and area courts in which 18 from upper courts were appointed and their names would be released any moment from now, while the same exercise would be carried out subsequently for lower courts.

Dambam stated that his constituents complained about “the irregularities and lopsidedness in the appointments and requested him to urge the House to correct the anomaly.”

Reacting to the allegations, the Chief Registrar of the State High Court, Subilim Danjuma, said the lawmaker got it wrong to have joined Ministry of Justice – an Executive arm of government – with the judiciary.

Danjuma said there was no appointment, as alleged by the lawmaker, that the Judicial Service Commission only promoted 18 of the 36 Sharia judges to Upper Sharia judges.

He added: “The accusations that trail the promotions seem to connote that this modest exercise of promotion was irregular and lopsided. We are not here to join issues with anybody, but to explain to undiscerning minds that the appointment of judges, unlike other appointments, is a highly sensitive exercise regulated by the National Judicial Policy, Judicial Appointments Guidelines and Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers.

“For the avoidance of doubt, every aspect of judicial appointment process should command public respect and confidence such that the best persons in terms of skill, learning, integrity and courage are appointed as judicial officers.”

It is a basic and fundamental aspect of the judicial policy that the judicial appointments process must be transparent and merit-based. Indeed, the yardstick for appointment in terms of skill, competence, integrity and comportment shall not be compromised and shall be strictly observed.”