The Speaker of the Kebbi State House of Assembly, Hon. Abdulmumini Ismaila Kamba, has explained that lawmakers rejected the confirmation of Justice Asabe Karatu as Chief Justice of Kebbi State due to age discrepancies in the documents she submitted.
He said stories circulating in the social media with the title: “Kebbi Female Acting Chief Judge Petitions National Judicial Council over Governor Abubakar Bagudu’s refusal to confirm her for being Christian,” were untrue as the assembly never wrote to the state government to communicate her confirmation.
In a statement made available to THISDAY yesterday, Kamba said the governor wrote to the state assembly on June 2, 2018 appointing Justice Karatu as Chief Judge and seeking the confirmation of the state assembly as required by the constitution, adding that she was invited on August 1, 2018.
He said: “During the confirmation hearing which Justice Karatu attended in the company of some higher court judges, it was observed 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 house rejected the request by the governor and declined to confirm her as Chief Judge of Kebbi State.”
He explained that subsequently, and on three other occasions, Bagudu wrote and sought her confirmation, adding that on all occasions the house maintained its refusal to confirm her on account of the alterations and inconsistencies with the last such rejection made May 15, 2019.
He said: “For the record under our constitution, it is the House of Assembly and not the governor that has the power to confirm a chief judge. At no time did we at plenary or an executive session confirm the appointment of Justice Karatu as claimed in the social media story. The purported letter mentioned in the story was never written by us,” he emphasised.