The high decibel attained by the promise of the fight against corruption by the Buhari administration may have yet to yield the desired results judging by the flagrant manner the officers of the Buhari administration have flaunted their unalloyed disregard to the acclaimed fight against corruption. The judiciary, according 247ureports.com investigation, shows the highest level of disregard to the fight against corruption, particularly, the Bauchi state judiciary and its Chief Judge.
Available information obtained from a petition submitted to the ICPC on the activities of the Bauchi Chief Judge, Justice Rabi Talatu Umar reveals the level of corrupt activities engaged by the Bauchi Chief Judge.
On the first level, the Bauchi Chief Judge reportedly operates a personal bank account at the Skye Bank – of which the operating balance at the Skye Bank runs into the hundreds of millions of Naira. This is compared against the salary of the Bauchi Chief Judge which is below N1million a month. The authors of the petition question the source of the huge cash balance.
The group of petitioners point to a slew of nefarious activities attributable to the Bauchi Chief Judge as responsible for the huge cash balance in her personal account. They point to the incestuous relationship with the State Government of Bauchi State. Particularly, they cited the numerous ‘gifts’ handed to her by the Bauchi State Government.
One of such ‘gifts’ was the 7,750 square meters of land [BA 37150; Land 33791] by the Bauchi State Government at the Airport Mini Park. Interestingly, the land that was given to her were land confiscated from the public for use in developing the said Airport Mini Park – under the clause of public interest. “But the Bauchi Chief Judge personal interest rose above the public interest”, noted a source within the State government who expressed unhappiness with the brazen display of disregard to law and humanity.
The source noted that the NJC [National Judicial Council] had stated in their code of conduct document that Chief Judges of any State in the federation must not accept gifts from the State Governments except those mandated by law, such as their salaries and estacodes.
In addition to the large plot of land, the Bauchi State Government have been releasing N1million monthly to the Bauchi Chief Judge since she became the Chief Judge. The money is supposedly for her transportation expenses. But available records indicate she has not retired any of the remittance of N1million paid into her personal account at Skye Bank. And, the Bauchi State Government have not requested for her to retire the monthly disbursement to her.
According to our source, “she is being used” by the Bauchi State government to subvert judicial process. “The Governor of Bauchi State, Barrister Abubakar is aware is her nefarious activities” claims the source who pointed out that the Bauchi Chief Judge failed to disclose in her Asset Declaration form, the 7,750 square meters of land given to her by the State Government. “She deceptively disclosed another land belonging to her which measures 2,000 square meters”.
It was only months ago when the Bauchi Chief Judge was alleged to have released 194 prisoners comprising of rapists and murderers – in exchange for cash payments. The prisoners are reported to be political thugs used by the top politicians in the State during campaigns and election manipulation activities.
The Bauchi Chief Judge had set up a judicial committee to examine the inmates on awaiting trial and to determine who is due to be released. In the process, the committee headed by the Bauchi Chief Judge visited four prisons in the state – Misua, Azare, Jama’are and Ningi.
But investigations by 247ureports.com revealed that five dangerous and convicted murderers were released in the process of supposedly releasing 194 inmates who were awaiting trial. The names of the five convicted murderers are:
The above named five convicted murderers were released through the back door. A source who spoke to 247ureports.com indicated that monies exchanged hands between the interested parties and the judiciary to facilitate the said illegal release.
The convicted felons had been presented to the Court of Appeal who after deliberating on their cases reaffirmed the murder convictions against the five men. They were sentence to 25 years imprisonment each.
Interestingly, as the exercise began, the defence lawyer to the freed five felons accompanied the Bauchi Chief Judge to the prisons. Our source notes that the Defence Attorney had no reasons to have escorted the chief judge to the prisons. “It is suspicious. The role he played is yet to be determined”. Our source point to the glaring anomaly and show of judicial corruption for an interested party to accompany the committee and then watch as the result of his visit yield to the release of his clients.
247ureports.com contacted the defence lawyer, Barrister Dalbadal, through his mobile phone [0818 424 6726]. He confirmed the release of his clients.
In the past, the Chief Judge of Bauchi had engaged in similar questionable acts. During the last general election while she was on acting capacity as the Chief Judge, she ordered the release of over 100 political thugs as a favour for the outgoing governor, Isa Yuguda. According to our source, she ordered the release because she was looking to get confirmation as the Chief Judge.
Bauchi Chief Judge continued stay as the Chief Judge of Bauchi State, according to the petitioners spells imbalance of Justice – if chief judges of other states could be discharged after having committed lesser offenses.