NIGER, NIGERIA – The Niger State Judicial Service Commission (NJSC) has announced the dismissal of Magistrate Court Judge Mohammed Bako Iya from service with immediate effect over alleged gross misconduct and abuse of judicial power. The NJSC also demoted by one grade level two Sharia court judges, Abdullahi Nasiru and Mohammed Baba Enagi, over misconduct and abuse of office.
The decision was taken at the Commission’s 136th meeting on March 21, 2023, after considering the recommendations of the Justice Mohammed Mohammed-led committee set up to look into petitions against the judges.
Abdulrahman Ahmed Garafini, the secretary of the Commission, made this disclosure at a press briefing in Minna on Wednesday. He revealed that out of seven petitions, three were against the dismissed judge, Mohammed Bako Iya, with two being sufficiently proven by the petitioners.
Garafini noted that the report indicted Mr. Bako for practically setting aside his judicial duties by representing and shielding a suspect, Saba Idris, from arrest by police and court. He added that the judge was also indicted in a second petition over the alleged use of the power of his office to intimidate and collect the sum of N400,000 from Fulani herders whose cattle destroyed his beans farm.
“It was further discovered that Mohammed Bako was a judge in his own case and used the instrument of his office to facilitate a gainful benefit for his personal interest and private affairs, hence, the NJSC approved the committee’s recommendations and dismissed the respondent with immediate effect,” Garafini said.
The NJSC Secretary also disclosed that the two Sharia court judges, Abdullahi Nasiru and Mohammed Baba Enagi, were demoted and would serve a tutelage of one year in other courts for their misconduct and abuse of office.
The decision by the NJSC has been welcomed by Nigerians who have called for a thorough investigation into the conduct of judicial officers across the country.