Any List for Gombe Chief Judge excluding Justice Beatrice Illiya’s name is in contravention of NJC Strict directive – NBA President Reacts
The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Olumide Akpata has declared that any List of Judges for Gombe Chief Judge excluding the most Senior Judge from the State, Justice Beatrice Iliya’s name is in contravention of NJC’s Strict directive.
Akpata made the declaration in a telephone Chat with BarristerNG.com on Sunday.
Akpata was reacting to news reports that the Gombe State Government had excluded the name of Justice Beatrice Illiya from the list of names forwarded to the NJC for consideration as appointment for Chief Judge.
Justice Illiya herself had written a petition to the NJC to complain about this exclusion and had copied the NBA in the petition.
In her petition, the most senior judge said that after the retirement of Hon Justice Hakila Herman, she was appointed as the Acting Chief Judge of Gombe State but after the mandatory 3 months provided by the constitution, Governor Inuwa Yahaya refused to extend her tenure.
Instead, another judge of the State, Justice Muazu Pindiga was appointed and his three months tenure as acting Chief Judge has been renewed for the fourth time because the executive has refused to do the right thing.
In August 2020, when the NJC directed the Gombe State Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to re-submit the names of the nominees for appointment as substantive Chief Judge of Gombe State by doing the right thing and including the name of the most senior judge, Justice Beatrice Illiya, the State JSC defied the directive, arguing that seniority is not a factor to be considered in the appointment of a Chief Judge of a State.
Justice Beatrice Illiya says she is being discriminated against because she is female and Christian.
The NBA President who was copied in the petition stated that he is very concerned about the development but is however hopeful that the NJC at its meeting on Monday would do the right thing and insist on the appointment of the most senior judge of the state.
The NBA President also stated that he has reached out to the Chairman of the NJC interview panel, Hon Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour JSC and confirmed that the panel is in receipt of Justice Illiya’s Petition.
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