By Laleye Dipo
The Niger State Judicial Service Commission (JSC) will appoint new magistrates to man some magistrate’s courts that are vacant in the magisterial divisions across the state, the Chief Registrar, Alhaji Jibrin Abubakar Zabo, has disclosed.
Zabo said in Minna on Tuesday that the screening of qualified personnel to occupy the magisterial positions has already been done, but did not say how many magistrates will be engaged by the government.
The Chief Registrar, during a press conference in his office, noted that it is the intention of the Judiciary to take administration of justice closer to the people, which has necessitated the opening of new magistrate’s courts and the plan to engage new magistrates.
Zabo also disclosed that the position of the Secretary to the state Judicial Service Commission is vacant, adding that arrangements have commenced to appoint a substantiative secretary for the commission.
He however said that in line with the existing protocol, the secretary of the commission has been zoned, adding that the appointee will not be picked from the state where the Chief Judge of the state comes from.
He stated that the Judicial Service Commission, which has power to appoint its secretary and magistrates, will soon come out with the modalities for such exercise, insisting that: “No individual, not even the chief judge of the state or the state governor has the power to question the decision of the JSC.”
Zabo disclosed that the incumbent Chief Judge, Justice Aliyu Maiyaki, will soon be retiring from service, adding that a valedictory session of the state High Court will be organised in his honour.
He commended the outgoing Justice Maiyaki for the reforms he carried out in the Judiciary, stressing that: “He is leaving indelible footprints in the sand of times. We will miss him.”