Borno sacks another Sharia Court judge for fraud

Mr. Mukhtar was found guilty of involvement in a fraudulent sale of landed property.

An upper Sharia Court judge in Borno State, Alkali Mukhtar, was on Wednesday compulsorily retired by the state Judicial Service Commission, JSC.

Mr. Mukhtar was found guilty of involvement in an illegal sale of landed property, a statement by the Secretary of JSC, Baba Adam, said.

The sacked judge, who was recently promoted to Judge of Upper Sharia Court in Mobbar, Damasak Local government, committed the crime when he was the judge of Gamboru Sharia court in Maiduguri.

A petition against the judge was filed to the office of the Chief Judge of Borno State, Kashim Zanna, on June 2, 2010 by one Buji Magumeri, now a retired civil servant. The petition was titled, Complaint against Activities of Gamboru Sharia Court Judge, Alkali Goni Mukhtar.

The judge was accused of aiding and abetting the sale of a land that left the real owners short changed.

Upon receipt of Mr. Magumeri’s letter of complaint, the Chief Judge referred the case to the Judiciary Public Complaints Committee, JPCC, a standing committee of the JSC, which invited the accused Judge to defend or deny the allegations. Other parties involved in the alleged illegal land transaction were also invited.

It took the JPCC about four years to conclude its investigation. And when it finally submitted its report to the JSC with an indicting recommendation, Mr. Mukhtar was invited to again defend the finding.
However, he could not do so satisfactorily and pleaded for leniency, the official statement said.

According to the statement by the JSC Secretary, at its meeting held on June 11, “The Borno State JSC considered the report of the JPCC which investigated a petition against Alkali Goni Mukhtar, an Upper Sharia Court Judge. The Commissioner accepted the report that the judge used his office to engage in a land transaction unbecoming of the office of a judge. For this misconduct, the JSC had compulsorily retired Alkali Goni Mukhtar, with effect from the 11th day of June, 2014”.

Mr. Mukhtar is the second Sharia court judge that has suffered this
fate in the last eight months.

On October 31, 2013, a Sharia High Court judge, Alkali Suguli of Yerwa Civil Sharia Court I, Maiduguri, was sacked from service after the state Judicial Service Commission found him guilty of bribery and involvement in a dirty land sale.

Mr. Suguli’s sack came shortly after the Chief Judge announced that some Sharia Court judges were suspended from adjudicating on trial of cases brought to their courts because they were found not to have possessed the requisite Islamic knowledge to act as Sharia Court judges.

Mr. Zannah said the suspended Sharia court judges failed to pass basic assessment tests from the Holy Quran and Hadith.

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