The Kebbi state house of assembly has denied writing Atiku Bagudu, governor of the state, to confirm the appointment of Elizabeth Karatu as chief judge of the state.
According to Daily Nigerian, Karatu, who has been in acting capacity, had said the governor acted against the approval of the lawmakers who had confirmed Karatu as the substantive chief judge in January.
She also petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC), alleging that the governor did not confirm her appointment because she is a Christian.
But in a statement, Abdulmumini Kamba, the speaker of the assembly, said lawmakers had rejected Karatu all the times the governor wrote them for approval.
He said there was never communication from the lawmakers conforming her appointment.
“The Kebbi Governor , Senator Abubakar A Bagudu, wrote to the Honourable House on June 01, 2018 appointing Justice Asabe Karatu as Chief Judge and seeking the confirmation of the House as required by the Constitution,” he said.
“Justice Asabe Karatu was invited by the House on August 1, 2018. During the conformation hearing which Justice Karatu attended in the company of some Higher Court Judges was discovered by Honourable Members that the Primary School Leaving Certificate presented by Justice Karatu was altered severally, including alteration to the date of birth from May 1952 to May 1954.
“Justice Karatu accepted that she was aware of the alterations but that they were done by the headmaster.
“On account of the alterations and other inconsistencies in her credentials, the Honourable House rejected the request by the Governor and declined to confirm her as Chief Judge of Kebbi State.
“Subsequently, and on three other occasions, the State Govenor, Senator Bagudu, wrote and sought her confirmation. On all the occasions the Honourable House maintained its refusal to confirm Justice Asabe Karatu as Chief Judge of Kebbi State on account of alterations and inconsistencies with the last such rejection made by the Honourable House on May 15, 2019.”
The speaker said the purported letter showing the lawmakers confirmed Karatu wasn’t written by them.
He also added that it is noteworthy that the former chief judge of the state was from a Christian, and that Kebbi state is a multi ethnic and religious state where everyone is treated equally.