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Court Orders Two Judges To Resign From Panels Set Up To Probe Ganduje

The Federal High Court sitting in Kano has ordered two Kano judges to resign from their appointments within 48 hours.

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State had appointed the judges, Justice Farouk Lawan Adamu and Justice Zuwaira Yusuf, to chair the Judicial Commission of Inquiry for the Recovery of Misappropriated Public Properties and Assets and the Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate Political Violence and Missing Persons, respectively.

Justice Simon Amobeda presided over the case brought by a former governor of the state Abdullahi Ganduje who sought to prevent Governor Yusuf from probing his administration.

In his verdict on Thursday, Justice Amobeda emphasised the judiciary’s independence and the impropriety of judges performing executive functions.

He stated, “Judges should desist from performing executive functions assigned to them by the Governor of Kano State in courtrooms meant to adjudicate disputes between persons and authorities in Kano State.”

The court ordered the National Judicial Council (NJC) to halt the payment of salaries, allowances, and benefits to the judges if they fail to comply within the specified timeframe.

“Failure by the judges to comply with the 48-hour deadline, the National Judicial Council (1st Defendant) shall stop forthwith, the payment of any remuneration, allowances, and benefits meant for judicial officers from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation to the Judges,” Justice Amobeda decreed.

The judgment also highlighted an earlier ruling by Justice A.M. Liman, which stated that Ganduje could only be investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC). Justice Amobeda condemned Governor Yusuf’s decision to set up the commissions without appealing this judgment, calling it “an abuse of office and undermining the sanctity of the judiciary”.

In his ruling, Justice Amobeda asserted, “The action of the Governor of Kano State of appointing the 4th and 5th defendants as chairmen of the commissions of inquiry… is an encroachment into and undermining the judicial arm of government, a breach of the doctrine of the separation of powers, a grave violation of the Constitution, and gross misconduct on the part of the Governor of Kano State and the 3rd defendant who administered the oath of office and oath of allegiance to the 4th and 5th defendants.”

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