More Trouble For Justice Rabi Umar As Stakeholders Petition Bauchi Assembly Over Her Recommendation As Chief Judge
Stake Holders in Bauchi State has faulted the decision of the State Judicial Service Commission over the recommendation of Justice Rabi Umar as the most qualified candidate for State Chief Judge seat. It will be recalled that the seat has remained vacant 2014 after the retirement of Justice Ibrahim Zango.
In two separate open letters titled: Appointment Of Chief Judge Of Bauchi State: The Need To Avert Looming Catastrophe In Bauchi State Judiciary, which was separately signed by Mohammed Ibrahim and sent to the speaker Bauchi State House of Assembly, the Stake holders faulted the decision on the grounds that , Justice Rabi appointed the state Judicial Service Commission, secretary .
They stakeholders also said that the NJC was misled by the Bauchi State Judicial Service Commission, JSC into passing the recommendation on her as the most qualified, without intensive and rigorous scrutiny of all the candidates.
They alleged that Rabi presided over her own recommendation to the NJC, in a Commission she single-handedly appointed its Secretary!
Other reasons given by the stake holders was that she is not the most senior judge in the State High court and the norm in the Nigerian Judiciary that appointment of Heads of Courts were always done based on seniority.
Furthermore the Stake holders argued that the most senior High Court Judge was appointed on 28th August, 2004. Although she was recommended for appointment same year with him, her appointment to the bench of the Bauchi State High Court of Justice was in December 2006, and when the former Chief Judge of Bauchi State, Hon. Justice Ibrahim M. Zango retired from service, it was the most senior Judge who was appointed as Acting Chief Judge of the state and not Hon. Justice Rabi T. Umar, citing so many examples in the past like the way late Justice Sabo Suleiman Darazo was appointed even though the name of Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa was first recommended to the JSC late Sabo was appointed because he was her senior.
They also argued that Rabi has moral questions, she is not an indigene of Bauchi State and that there are alleged judicial impropriety and corruption against her, even as they cited many examples.
For instance they alleged that Rabi was very close to the then Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Ahmed Ibrahim Dandija, who directed the then Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Bauchi State, who was a Member of JSC representing the Executive Arm to prevail on the Commission to favor Hon. Justice Rabi over and above other candidates when passing their recommendation to the NJC.
In addition, they said the former SSG, who was known to have wielded so much power in the past administration, allegedly directed that the sum of N1, 000, 000:00 (One Million Naira) monthly, be allocated to her office as Acting Chief Judge of the state, plus a brand new car purchased only for her. As such, the independence of the Judiciary during her tenure as Acting Chief Judge was grossly compromised.
The Stake holders argued that, as a payback for the uncountable favor she enjoyed from the past administration of Isa Yuguda, Hon. Justice Rabi embarked on a kangaroo visit to Bauchi Central Prison with the sinister motive to release PDP thugs who were awaiting trial, on the eve of the 2015 general elections so that they can help their evil party to victory through wrecking havoc on innocent voters and electoral officers alike. A situation that was averted only through divine intervention!.
Explaining further the Stakeholders gave more evidence to depeened their petition on how Justice Rabi was allegedly winning and dinning with former Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda who through dubious means planned and supported the recommendation of Rabi as Chief judge.
They alleged that the former governor of Bauchi State, Malam Isa Yuguda perfected the plans for Hon. Justice Rabi to be the substantive Chief Judge to enable him annexed the Judiciary for effective manipulation.
For instance it was alleged that Justice Rabi danced to the tune of Yuguda when she granted an EX-PARTE ORDER in his favor, against all judicial standards, in Suit No. BA/04/2015, and published in Leadership newspaper of 20th February, 2015, and Yuguda allegedly rewarded her in cash, with Thirteen Million Naira, (N13, 000, 000:00), for that judicial manipulation and miscarriage of justice.
The group stated that Yuguda who hid under the pretence of donating to her as a result of a fire incidence that razed her house, and within 25 days Yuguda directed the Chief Registrar of Bauchi State High Court of Justice, Sani Mohammed to send a letter with Reference Number. CJC/BAS/S/46/T1, dated 15th January, 2015, addressed to the State Judicial Service Commission, also the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Bauchi Branch, whose Chairman is close to Yuguda and the then State Attorney General wrote another letter both of them recommended Hon. Justice Rabi T. Umar and Hon. Grand Khadi Dahiru A. Ningi.
According the stakeholders in their letter said that the recommendation of the NBA did not go with copies of minutes of the Association’s meeting(s), which clearly showed that it wasn’t a unanimous decision that carried other members of the Bar along.
Another point the group drew in their petition to the House is that the said Justice Rabi entertained and decided case outside her jurisdiction in the year 2014, in Suit No. BA/07M/2014, between ; GIDEON E. OKAH V. ALHAJI SABO GIDAN DUTSI, DPO SAMINAKA, (LERE LGA, KADUNA STATE) AND COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, KADUNA STATE, she even awarded a cost of Five Hundred Thousand Naira, (N500, 000:00) to the plaintiff.
The Group alleged that when state auditors visited the judiciary recently, they discovered that the N6, 000, 000:00 earmarked for the renovation of offices was alleged to have been diverted to private pockets of Hon. Rabi. T. Umar, Hon. Grand Khadi Dahiru A. Ningi and Chief Registrar Sani Mohammed.
The stake holders said Justice Rabi employed 30 non-indigenes, mainly of Kogi State descent, into Bauchi State Judiciary at the expense of Bauchi people.
They also alleged that the state Grand Khadi Dahiru A. Ningi refused to follow the directives of the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, Barrister Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, when the governor requested that the earlier recommendation of the State Judicial Service Commission to National Judicial Council, NJC be replaced with a new one that would give all the candidates equal chances.
The Grand Khadi, being the representative of Bauchi State during NJC meetings to recommend a Chief Judge for the state maintained the first recommendation of the state JSC which favored Hon. Justice Rabi T. Umar over and above other candidates.
“And now the Grand Khadi is going about telling people that in the event Hon. Justice Rabi T. Umar has been dropped, the likely candidate for appointment as Chief Judge of Bauchi State is Hon. Justice Hamidu N. Kunaza, “a Christian”, trying to bring sentiment in the matter.”
They urged the Speaker to intervene and ensure that due process, Justice and fairness is followed in the selection of new State Chief Judge.