From Sule Aliyu, Bauchi
The Chief Judge of Bauchi State, Justice Rabi Talatu Umar has said there are now very corrupt people in the state judiciary, using religious sentiments to sustain their nefarious activities.
The corrupt people entered into contractual relationship with various companies worth billions of Naira using forged stamp, letter headed paper of the office of the Chief Registrar without the knowledge, authority or consent of the Chief Judge.
Justice Umar stated this Tuesday while swearing in Commissioners for Oath from the Sharia Court of Appeal Division of the state judiciary.
Justice Umar said that while efforts were being made to generate revenues into the coffers of the state government, the corrupt elements in the judiciary had their own forms and receipts to deprive the government of revenues.
She said those perpetrating fraudulent acts were doing so with active connivance, support and encouragement of their godfather who was using religious sentiment to cause disharmony between the High Court and the Sharia Court of Appeal in the state.
“The truth is that we now have very corrupt people in the judiciary who have their personal forms, receipts and even stamp using their boys to deprive the government of revenue and defraud unsuspecting members of the public.
“What is happing now is a climax of irrevocable standing payment order granted by the then Chief Registrar of the High Court on the June 23, 2009 (years before I became the Chief Judge) which resulted in the judgment of the Federal High Court against the High Court of Justice of Bauchi State in favour of AMCON in Suit No. FHC/BAU/CS/37/2017 delivered on December 8, 2020 prompting AMCON to garnishee the account of Bauchi State, which matter still lingering in court.
“The staff perpetrating this (these) acts do so with the active connivance, support and encouragement of their godfather who now resort to using religious sentiment to cause disharmony between the High Court and the Sharia Court of Appeal.
“He is making frantic effort to undermine the integrity of his own organisation using religious sentiment to deceive the general public to believe in his cause. That will not happen under my watch,” said her.
Justice Umar informed that she had always directed the state Chief Registrar of the High Court, Barr. Emmanuel Danjuma, a Christian, who the disgruntled elements claimed she had imposed on the Sharia Court of Appeal, to investigate each complaint against their nefarious activities.
She added that her recent directive for investigation was the instances some staff of the High Court entered into contractual relationship with various companies worth billions of Naira using forged stamp, letter headed paper of the office of the Chief Registrar and forms without neither her nor the Chief Registrar’s knowledge, authority or consent.
She said: “With each complaint against the nefarious activities of these disgruntled elements, I always direct the Chief Registrar to investigate and all the investigation reports are indicting the perpetrators which prompted hatred for the Chief Registrar.
“Such instigations are directives from me and not out of his own volition.”
She gave instances of such fraudulent contractual relationship.
“Some of the contract included supply of 52,000 bags of rice at the cost of N438mn, 4500 laptops at the cost of N2.180bn, 10,000 motorcycles at the cost of N3.100bn and 500 Keke Napep tricycles at the cost of N5.750 billion,” she added.
The CJ informed that in some instances some staff were investigated and charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, while some others were investigated and charged to court by the police and subsequently remanded at correctional service facility.
The Chief Judge, however, advised the general public to verify any misinformation “and even look at the standing and antecedent of the people dishing out the misinformation.”
Justice Umar then urged the new Commissioners for Oaths at the Sharia Court of Appeal to shun all forms of corruption, malpractices and unethical behaviour in the discharge of the responsibilities bestowed on them.