Bauchi State House of Assembly has been advised to stick to its constitutional responsibility of legislation and law making in line with the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended which provides for separation of powers.
The advice was given by the Bauchi branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) while reacting to a recent resolution of the House regarding the promotion of some judicial officers to the position of upper and lower Sharia court judges.
Addressing a Press conference on the issue at the NUJ Press Center, the NBA through its Chairman, Barr Jibrin S. Jibrin stated that, “We are however under obligation as lawyers to draw attention to the fact that the impact of the said Sections 202 of the Constitution (supra), 19 and 20 of the Bauchi State J.S.C Law (supra) and other extant laws and regulations does not allow for the interference of the Honorable House on the issue in reference in the manner it sought to do”.
The NBA added, “We have formally communicated to the Bauchi State House of Assembly through the Speaker whereon we drew its attention to the provisions of Section 202 of the 1999 Constitution FRN (amended) along with Sections 19 and 20 of the Bauchi State Judicial Service Committee Law cap 75 Laws of Bauchi State 2006 in the context of the legal implication of the position of the House calling for the halting of the promotion exercise as done by J.S.C as well as the subsequent invitation of the concerned officials.
“We appreciate the interest, concern and commitment of the Honorable House on the issue especially the fact that justice be done to all concerned including the need to reflect geo-graphical balancing in exercise of this nature”.
It stressed that, “We are engaging the concerned authorities on the issues arising out of the exercise with a view to seeing to it that justice is done to all and laid down criteria, rules and regulations guiding such exercise are followed to the letter.
“We remain open to deepening the synergy, co-operation and collaboration between the Bar and the Arms of Government in the Sate towards ensuring that the interest of just prevails at all times”, the NBA added.
The NBA emphasized that, “As the leaders of the Bar in Bauchi State, we are addressing you this afternoon regarding issues arising out of the position of the Bauchi State House of Assembly regarding the recent promotion exercise involving judges of Lower Shari’ah Courts as carried out by the Judicial Service Commission (J.S.C) in Bauchi State”.
According to the NBA, “Being a major stakeholder in the justice sector and as avowed advocate of the rule of law, justice, equity and proper conduct, we are concerned that the relevant legal issue raised by the position of the Legislative Arm of the Government in the state particularly, the manner of their intervention or involvement in this matter be addressed”.
It said that, “The idea is that we have a duty to ensure that the spirit and letter of the law especially the 1999 constitution as the grund norm is respected by all persons and authorities within and outside the state and of course the country” .
It added that, “Now having this background in mind, we have keenly monitored the developments pertaining to the said promotion exercise and as a body whose stake in issue bordering on the justice sector as the J.S.C constitutionally sanctioned, we have thoroughly reviewed the developments”.
It will be recalled that the House of Assembly during one of its plenary, resolved to halt the promotion of some judicial officers to upper and lower Sharia court judges in the state saying that the exercise was lopsided.
By Yemi Kanji, Bauchi…