- As with all Black African countries, the devasting effects of foreign religions in Nigeria, has rendered Africa,s biggest economy near impotent
Justice Beatrice L. Iliya, the most senior judge in the northern Nigerian state of Gombe, has been excluded from the nominees to fill the vacant position of the Chief Judge of the state for being a Christian, according to local reports.
According to sources, Iliya’s name was removed from the list by Gombe State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Zubairu Mohammed Umar, simply for being a woman and a Christian.
Sources revealed that the Attorney-General refused to nominate Iliya for the position because the past Chief Justice was a Christian.
“Umar deliberately refused to nominate Iliya for the position because of her religion.
“He has the backing of the state government as they believed the CJ should come to the other religion.
“They deliberately refused to nominate her because they know that if her name is there, as the most senior and most qualified, the National Judicial Council will pick her over others,” the source said.
Justice Beatrice Iliya has personally petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) over alleged plot by Gombe State government to scuttle her elevation as Chief Judge of the state.
The petition was dated April 21, 2020 and titled, ‘Re-Presentation by Hon. Justice Beatrice L. Iliya in Respect of the Appointment of Chief Judge of Gombe State High Court’.
In the petition, the embattled female Judge chronicled the preceding events and actions of the state government aimed at stopping her from becoming the next Chief Judge of the state
Her petition opened a floodgate of similar petitions from some interest groups and community leaders on the subject matter.
For instance, a community leader and human rights activist, Yakubu Sarma, Magatakadan Bambam, has informed the National Judicial Council (NJC), that the preferred candidate of the Gombe State Judicial Service Commission, Justice Mua’zu A. Pindiga, is by far a junior judicial officers to Justice Iliya, who has served in the capacity of an Acting Chief Judge.
FIDA while expressing worry over what it described as deep-seated discrimination against female lawyers especially in the northern part of the county, advised the NJC not to succumb to such anachronistic and discriminatory antics.
FIDA, a body of female lawyers which also promote, protect and preserve the rights of women and children, pointed out that several female Judges who had been appointed as Acting Chief Judges had been denied the privilege of rising to the pinnacle of being named the substantive Chief Judge of affected states and urged the NJC to put a stop such discriminatory and frustrating trend.
Meanwhile, Secretary of the NJC, Barr. Ahmed Gambo Saleh, confirmed that the NJC has received petitions and submissions made by interested parties in the matter, adding that the Council will dutifully analyse them.
NEWS/PHOTO SOURCE: News Agencies