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Sharia Judge in trouble for illegally trying criminal matter, detention, as whistleblower demands N10m compensation

A Sharia Court Judge in Zuba, Abuja, is seemingly in trouble after it illegally entertained a criminal matter and subsequently ordered the detention of a whistleblower, Dr George Davidson of the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Eagle Eye Transparency International based in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

ElombahNews gathered that Dr. Davidson was allegedly “illegally arraigned” before the court by operatives of the FCT Police Command for a period of two weeks, from 26 March 2020 to 9th April 2020 at Suleja Prison Facility.

Legal experts, who delved into matter, argued that the actions of the Upper Area Court contravened the FCT Area Courts (Repeal & Establishment) Act 2010.

The Act, it was understood, divested FCT Area Courts of jurisdiction over criminal matters by expunging Sections 18,19 & 22 of 2006 Act.

Also, Section 109 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 restricted Area Courts from trying criminal proceedings.

Further, Section 493 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act , 2015, repealed the Nigeria Police from arraigning suspects in Area Courts.

Moreover, a subsisting judgement of the FCT High Court perpetually restrained FCT Area Courts from trying criminal matters under Penal Code and Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

Despite the foregoing, the presiding Judge, Mr Garba Gambo entertained the matter and ordered the whistleblower, Dr. George Davidson detained in prison.

Premised on the above Davidson wrote the Presiding Judge of the Zuba Upper Area Court and demanded compensation to the tune of N10 million.

The Senior Research Analyst of Eagle Eye Transparency International , Sani Jibril, wrote the court through the Court Registrar.

In the letter, which was copied to the CJN, CJ-FCT, CJ-FHC , Grand Khadi-SCA, Director, Sharia Court of Appeal and Affiliate CSOs, Davidson gave the court to respond within seven days after which he will take a fresh course of action.

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A copy of the letter referenced ST/2024b/20 and dated 2nd October, 2020 is produced below:

Re: CR/304: IGP vs Dr George Davidson; demand for compensation ten million naira (N10,000,000), apologies in 3 national dailies within 7 days over the illegal detention from 26 March 2020- 9th April 2020

Sir,

Above subject matter refers.

We are a Non-government Organization ( NGO). Please find attached our certificate of incorporation, aims and objectives.

We demand you to honorably compensate our field agent for the ill treatment meted on his person, knowing fully well that you presided on a matter on an illegal grounds and incarcerated his person in Suleja Correctional Center from 26th March- 9th April 2020 despite his ill status then.

He was mentally, psychologically tortured and extorted and exposed making him vulnerable to COVID-19 Pandemic ravaging the globe.

Grounds upon which this demand is founded:

I. The FCT Area Courts (Repeal & Establishment) Act 2010 divest FCT Area Courts of jurisdiction over Criminal matters by expunging Sections 18,19 & 22 of 2006 Act;

ii . Section 109 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 does not recognize the Area Courts as Courts where criminal proceedings can be instituted;

iii. Section 493 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act , 2015 repeals the Criminal Procedure Code Act under which the Nigeria Police had a window to arraign suspect in Area Courts; and

iv . There is a subsisting judgement of the FCT High Court (per S .B. Belgore, J) in FCT/HC/CV/3171/17 (Barr. Anugom Ifeayichukwu V. The Grand Khadi, Sharia Court of Appeal & 2 Ors.) perpetually restraining the Area Courts in the Federal Capital Territory from trying criminal matters under the Penal Code and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

V. The Presiding Judge, Mr Garba Gambo defiantly sat on the 26th March 2020 against the Edict of the Chief Justice of the Nation REF: NO:NJC/CIR/HOC/ii/656 issued on the 23 March 2020 (Re: Preventive Measure on Spread of COVID19 – Protection of Justice, Judges, & Staff of courts).

The Jurisdiction of every court is decided by the statute creating the court. Section 10(1)(2) if the 2010 Act is respectfully commended to your Honor.

This Notice expires in Seven (7) Days from the moment of receipt of this demand notice.

ElombahNews contacted Mr. Muhd Lawal Munir, the Court Registrar for his response via WhatsApp but he failed to respond to our message.

He did not also pick a phone call by our correspondent when effort was made to reach him.

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