Bello under pressure to stop removal of Chief Judge

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Following the move being made by Kogi state House of Assembly to remove the state Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Kogi State chapter has urged   Governor Yahaya Bello not to act on the April 2 resolution of the Kogi State House of Assembly which recommended the removal in fulfillment of due process.

This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of an enlarged meeting of the four branches of the Bar, Lokoja, Idah, Kabba and Okene, comprising all the executives and elders of the association in Lokoja on Thursday.

The communiqué signed by Dr Michael Obamero and Mohammed Usman, chairman and secretary respectively said this was in regard to the backdrop of a subsisting order of the High Court judge, Koton-Karfe, directing the maintenance of status quo in the matter.

The NBA in the state, as a body, said it noted with dismay the very unfortunate state of affairs of the Justice sector in the state.

It therefore, called on all the feuding parties to sheath their swords and allow the process of peacemaking to take effect.

“As important stakeholders in the administration of justice in the state, the Bar feels constrained to analyse all the issues involved and with the sole aim of trying to bring truce to the prevailing rancorous situation.

“That the bar has noted the resolutions of the Kogi State House of Assembly passed on the 2nd day of April, 2019 on the ongoing crisis.

“That his Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kogi State, should remove/suspend or cause the Honourable Chief Judge of Kogi State to step aside from office pending investigation of certain allegation against the judiciary”, the communiqué read.

It also said in view of the subsisting order of the High Court, Koton-Karfe for maintenance of status quo in the matter, Gov. Bello should not act on the House recommendations to allow for peaceful reconciliation.

However, the NBA commended the State House of Assembly for recommending the immediate payment of the nine months salary arrears owed judicial staff and appealed to the government to commence payment immediately.

The legal practitioners also called on the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Kogi State chapter, to call off the four months old strike action to allow for amicable settlement of the impasse.

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