Judicial Corruption: I’ll okay Justice Auta’s prosecution-Ganduje

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By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja.
Kano State Governor, Abdulahi Ganduje has said that he would not hesitate to append his signature for the prosecution of Justice Kabiru Auta of the State High Court when the need arises.
Ganduje spoke to State House correspondents after a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo amidst the crackdown on some allegedly corrupt judges by the operatives of Department of State Services (DSS).
It would be recalled that Justice Auta was recently recommended for outright dismissal by the National Judicial Council, NJC from the bench due to a proven case of bribery and corruption against him.
The Council had at its 78th meeting, chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, and held on September 29, 2016 recommended Auta for prosecution over an allegation that he collected N197m from a man, Alhaji Kabiru, who wrote a petition to the NJC against him.
While asking Ganduje to effect the dismissal, NJC also recommended that Auta should be handed over to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 1, Kano, for prosecution.
The judge was accused of collecting about N197m from a man, Alhaji Kabiru Yakassai, under the pretext that he had planed to use the money to help get accommodation for a Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN who was newly appointed at the time, assuring Yakassai that he would be rewarded with a contract by the CJN.
Auta, it was learnt, agreed to refund the sum of N95m to Yakassai, who had petitioned the NJC, but later admitted during his probe by the NJC panel that he only agreed to refund N35m.
But Ganduje who gave the impression that he was yet to comply with the decision of the NJC on account of a court case in respect of the matter said he would not only approve for Auta to be sacked but also to be tried in a law court on corruption charges.
He said: “What is going on is a court case now but it is a welcome development. Mr. President is serious about corruption and that aspect is an aspect of conscience. So, the state government is behind him and effect, the state government has established an anti-corrupt outfit. They are working very hard and we are complementing the effort of the federal government.
“I will approve his being tried in the court of law not even sack. If the courts find him to be jailed, that’s okay.”
Asked why he was in the villa, Ganduje said his mission was to discuss security and youth unemployment with the Vice President.
“Well, you know Kano is a mega city. A mega city has got some peculiar problems of security and employment and other things. So, I came to discuss such issues especially the issue of unemployment and the efforts we are making this far and the kind of attention we need as a mega city.
“That’s briefly why I am here to discuss with the Vice President”, he said.

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