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Female Kano chief magistrate suspended for accessing frozen funds

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The Kano State Judicial Service Commission has indefinitely suspended a magistrate who allegedly ordered money to be transferred from a frozen bank account into her own.

The JSC spokesperson, Baba Jibo-Ibrahim, in a statement issued in Kano on Monday, said alongside Talatu Makama was another magistrate and a registrar of the State High Court, Abdu Nasir, who also allegedly received official payment through his personal bank account.

The statement reads, “The Kano State Judicial Service Commission, at its 72nd meeting held on the 11th of June 2024, has taken disciplinary actions against Chief Magistrate Talatu Makama, magistrate Court No 29, Senior Magistrate Rabi Abdulkadir, magistrate Court No 48 and Senior Registrar Abdu Nasir of Appeal section, High Court Kano.

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“Sequel to the findings of the Judiciary Public Complaints Committee (JPCC) concerning three petitions filed and investigated against Chief Magistrate Talatu Makama, the commission has adopted the recommendations of the JPCC.

“The JPCC conducted a thorough investigation on the matters and equally examined the chief magistrate’s response and concluded 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 said 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 case and making order to the police even before the case was directed to her.

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

Also, the spokesperson said another magistrate, Rabi Abdulkadir, was suspended for one year after the commission found her wanting in reckless handling of a case.

“Following the review of the circumstance surrounding the handling of the case between 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. She has been instructed to cease all duties at Magistrate Court No. 48.”

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The JSC also considered the investigation report on the alleged misconduct of Senior Registrar, Mr Nasir, of the Appeals Department of the High Court and found unsatisfactory the response of chief magistrate court 60, Tijjani Minjibir, thus, equally got sanctioned for official wrongdoing.

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

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

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