Judge faces NJC probe over Zamfara elections

Judge faces NJC probe over Zamfara elections

- The governorship candidate of APGA in Zamfara state has dragged Justice Bello Muhammed Shinkafi to the National Judicial Council

- The APGA governorship candidate alleged that the judge engaged in gross abuse of office

- According to Sani Shinkafi, the judge allegedly failed to respect the judicial hierarchy over the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has started looking into a petition brought by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Zamfara state, Alhaji Sani Shinkafi.

Shinkafi alleged that a judge of the Zamfara state high court engaged in “gross abuse of office and judicial rascality,” when adjudicating over a political case marked ZMS/GS/52/2018, pertaining to the March 9 governorship election.

According to the petition, the judge, Justice Bello Muhammed Shinkafi, allegedly failed to respect the judicial hierarchy, by going ahead to deliver judgement on a matter that was pending before the Sokoto state division of the Court of Appeal.

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The governorship candidate said he applied to be joined as an interested party in the named case before Hon. Justice Bello Muhammed Shinkafi of Zamfara state high court no. 3. However, in a ruling, the said judge refused his application and he headed to the Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division.

The petition, copies of which were also sent to the chief judge of Zamfara state and chairman of the Zamfara state Judicial Service Commission, read: “To ensure all court process and procedures were made in order and never take chance, my counsel had also filed a motion for stay of proceedings pending appeaI before the High Court (copy attached).

"It is highly disturbing to have imagined how Justice Bello would go ahead to deliver judgement despite my appeal pending before Court of Appeal.

“Sir, judiciary and all stakeholders in the administration of justice are known to be ethical, professional and disciplined. Regard and respect for seniority is an already established decorum that was never challenged, especially among judges, let alone of a case like this where the hierarchy of the two courts in question were defined by the constitution."

He described he action of Justice Bello as unethical and unprofessional adding that he is unprepared to strictly adhere to the rule of law and already established court process and procedures.

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“The tendency of Justice Bello’s complexity and complication in the instant case is glaring, points to the fact that he has been a high court judge for good number of years and served as judiciary staff throughout his career.

"He could not have claimed mistake or ignorance of the fact that where there is an interlocutory appeal against the ruling of a particular court, the lower court should be estopped from delivering a judgement until the Appeal Court gives its verdict," he added.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that no fewer than 20 candidates of various political parties in Zamfara state have withdrawn from the forthcoming the poll.

The APP gubernatorial candidate, Zayanu Salisu, presented the list of the political parties stepping down for the poll. Salisu said the decision was borne out of their desire to join hands to develop democracy in the state.

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Source: Legit.ng

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