Kebbi Speaker: We rejected acting CJ because of forgery not religion
The Speaker of the Kebbi State House of Assembly, Hon. Abdulmumini Kamba has said that the acting Chief Judge, Justice Elizabeth Asabe Karatu, was rejected because of forgery and not because of her religion.
Hon. Kamba, also denied writing Atiku Bagudu, governor of the state, to confirm the appointment of Elizabeth Karatu as chief judge of the state.
Kamba stated this in response to the allegation by Karatu that the state governor, Atiku Bagudu refused to confirm her as substantive chief judge of the state because she is a Christian.
Karatu had said the governor acted against the approval of the lawmakers who had confirmed her as the substantive chief judge in January.
But in a statement, the Speaker said lawmakers had rejected Karatu all the times the governor wrote them for approval.
He said there was never communication from the lawmakers conforming her appointment.
He said, “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.
“Justice Asabe Karatu was invited by the House on August 1, 2018. During the conformation 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 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.”
ElombahNews had on June 13 reported that the acting Chief Judge had written a petition to the National Judicial Council [[NJC] over Governor Bagudu’s alleged refusal to confirm her as substantive chief judge of the state.
In the petition obtained online, the acting chief judge said politics of religion and her firm belief in justice and fairness were some of the reasons the state governor denied her rights despite the recommendation of NJC.
In a letter to the governor, referenced KBHA/LEG/001/XI and entitled “RE: APPOINTMENT AND REQUEST FOR CONFIRMATION OF JUSTICE ELIZABETH ASABE KARATU AS CHIEF JUDGE OF KEBBI STATE”, the speaker of the state House of Assembly Abdulmumini Kamba conveyed the Assembly’s approval.
“Reference to your submission dated, 6th November, 2018, I am glad to inform you that at an Executive Session held on Thursday, 17th January, 2019, the Hon. House resolved and confirmed Justice Elizabeth Asabe Karatu as the Chief Judge of Kebbi State,” the three-paragraph letter read in part.
Mrs Karatu, who is due to retire on July 5, 2019, was also denied right to swear-in the governor on May 29, 2019, a duty the Grand Khadi of the state, Muhtar Imam Jega.
But the Secretary to the Kebbi State Government, Babale Yauri, said the refusal of the governor to confirm Mrs Karatu as substantive chief justice was not because of her religion.
“The State Assembly did not screen her because of some discrepancies in her credentials. It was not the governor’s fault, and his action has nothing to do with religion,” he said.
According to the SSG, the letter purportedly sent to the governor by the State Assembly is fake as it was not duly signed.
Read the full story including Justice Karatu’s petition to NJC below: