Adamawa State governor, Murtala Nyako, on Tuesday swore-in Ishaku Banu as the new Chief Judge of the state in what seems to have put to rest the confusion in the Adamawa State’s judiciary and resolved the rift between the bar and Mr. Nyako.
Justice Ishaku Banu appointment came after much criticism from the Nigerian Bar Association, Adamawa State Chapter, over the extension of the tenure of former Acting Chief Judge of the state, Bartimaus Lawi. The lawyers contended the extension was unconstitutional and illegal.
Mr. Nyako and the NBA had been at loggerheads because the governor failed to appoint the most senior ranking judicial officer in the state as Chief Judge fifty days after the former Chief Judge, Bamare Bansi, vacated the seat at the expiration of his tenure.
The NBA protested and forced the governor to appoint Bartimaeus Lawi the acting chief judge; but an extension of his tenure infuriated the association which insisted the constitution only provides for a three-month tenure for an acting chief judge. The bar said the governor’s action was illegal especially as he acted without the nod of the National judicial council.
The Adamawa State NBA chairman, Jeremiah Dzarma, had accused Mr. Nyako of playing politics with the appointment of a substantive chief judge for the state.
But in a twist of events, Mr. Nyako swore in Ishaku Banu as the Acting Chief judge of the state and Justice Audu Lagire Lawal as the substantive president of the customary court of appeal in the state.
The governor implored the newly appointed judges to be just and imbibe the fear of God in the discharge of their duties. He said the state expected them to use their vast legal experiences to transform the judicial institution in the state.
Mr. Dzarma, on behalf of the legal association, applauded the appointments, saying it was a welcome development.
The swearing-in ceremony was witnessed by members of the association who were initially aggrieved at Mr. Nyako’s refusal to swear in a Chief Judge for the state.