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NJC to probe ex-Appeal Court president,  Zainab Bulkachuwa, after husband’s confession

NJC to probe ex-Appeal Court president,  Zainab Bulkachuwa, after husband’s confession

The Nigerian Judicial Council says it is considering a probe into cases involving politically exposed persons under former Appeal Court president, Zainab Bulkachuwa.

This was sequel to her husband’s admission that she used her position to favour his friends who are politicians. But the council will not discipline the retired head of the appellate court.

Mrs Bukachuwa was president of the Appeal Court between April 2014 and March 2020.

Her 83-year old politician husband, Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa, who represented Bauchi North in the ninth Senate, in his valedictory speech, revealed how she used her position to “help” his colleagues.

“I want to thank, particularly, my wife, whose freedom I encroached while she was in office,” Mr Bulkachuwa said. “She has been very tolerant and accepted my encroachment and extended her help to my colleagues.”

Speaking on Mr Bulkachuwa’s damning confession that has elicited calls for investigation, Soji Oye, spokesperson for NJC, said on Thursday that the NJC was aware of Mr Bulkachuwa’s confession, according to Peoples Gazette.

“They are on it. They are on it. The judiciary is on it. We heard it just like every other person. We heard it. But you know she is retired. She has retired from service. No disciplinary action can be taken against any retired official,” Oye was quoted to have said.

Asked if the council was considering a probe and review of cases of politically exposed persons under Mrs Bulkachuwa, Mr Oye said, “The NJC is looking at it too just like every other person.”

“The NJC is considering it too because we all heard it just like every other person. It is during the meeting the NJC will take action,” Mr Oye added.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, Chidi Odinkalu, former National Human Rights Commission chairman, said “the @njcNIG met and failed, refused, or neglected to adopt a position on the most serious issue affecting judicial integrity in #Nigeria” and that “@njcNIG as the institution responsible to investigate the facts of what Adamu Bulkachuwa said & its effects on the judicial system, has instead chosen to unlock.”

He added, “This is a disgrace. They spit at the judicial independence and integrity that they claim to defend.”

On Wednesday, the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said only NJC could probe Ms Bulkachuwa.

President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, in a statement on Wednesday, said the NJC at the 102 statutory meeting condemned Mr Bulkachuwa’s confession.

“The NJC condemned the actions of the Senator in the strongest terms as an affront on the integrity and independence of the Judiciary,” Mr Maikyau said, while calling for Mr Bulkachuwa’s interrogation and prosecution.


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