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Kano chief magistrate suspended for ‘transferring money from petitioner’s frozen bank account’

The Kano state Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has suspended Talatu Makama, a chief magistrate, indefinitely.

She was suspended for allegedly ordering the transfer of funds from a frozen bank account into her personal account.

According to a statement issued on Monday by Baba Jibo-Ibrahim, Kano JSC spokesperson, three petitions were lodged against Makama.

“Sequel to the findings of the Judiciary Public Complaints Committee (JPCC) in respect to three petitions filed and investigated against chief magistrate Talatu Makama, the commission has adopted the recommendations of the JPCC,” the statement reads.

“The JPCC conducted a thorough investigation on the matters and equally examined the chief magistrate’s response and came up with the findings that her actions amount to gross misconduct.

“She made an order to GT Bank to transfer money in the petitioner’s account already frozen, into her personal account which she clearly admitted in her response.”

The statement added that the JPCC in the second petition also found elements of judicial bias by the chief magistrate.

In the third petition, the council also found that “her conduct was despicable of a judicial officer where her worship (lordship) was found receiving calls and making orders to the police even before the case was directed to her”.

“Chief magistrate Talatu Makama is recalled from the bench and relieved of all judicial duties (indefinite suspension) effective immediately,”  the statement added.

The statement also said two other magistrates and a senior registrar were sanctioned for judicial misconduct.

Rabi Abdulkadir, a senior magistrate, was suspended for one year for “recklessly handling a case”.

“Following the review of the circumstance surrounding the handling of the case between the commissioner of police Vs Abubakar Salisu, by Rabi Abdulkadir, senior magistrate court No. 48, the commission found the actions of the senior magistrate to amount to judicial recklessness and therefore the commission has resolved to recall the magistrate and relieved her from judicial duties for a period of one calendar year,” the statement reads.

“She has been instructed to cease all duties at Magistrate Court No. 48.”

The JSC added that it considered the report on the alleged misconduct of Abdu Nasir, senior registrar of the appeals department of the high court.

“The report confirmed that Abdu Nasir received payments of fees meant for court records into his personal account, which constitutes serious misconduct,” the JSC spokesperson said.

“Consequently, the commission issued a strong warning to Abdu Nasir and also deferred his promotion for one year.”

The statement added that at its 73rd meeting, the commission deliberated on the petitions received against Tijjani Saleh-Minjibir, a chief magistrate.

Jibo-Ibrahim said: “The response to the queries issued were found unsatisfactory and the commission viewed the actions of the magistrate as amounting to serious misconduct and judicial recklessness.

“Saleh-Minjibir is recalled from judicial duties for a period of one year, effective immediately, and is ceased of all judicial activities.

“The commission will continue to apply the appropriate sanctions against any erring staff particularly those saddled with judicial responsibilities in order to safeguard the integrity and accountability of the judicial system and maintain the confidence of the public.

“These disciplinary actions underscore the Judicial Service Commission’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of judicial conduct and ensuring the integrity of the legal system.”

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