The Commandant-General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Abdullahi Muhammadu, has explained the reason an unidentified NSCDC officer prevented a judge of the Kebbi State High, Elizabeth Kafarati and her police orderly from entering her courtroom.
He stated that the court entrance was under lock by the state government, adding that the errant operative was assigned to protect the premises from being vandalized as requested by the Kebbi State Judicial Council in a letter to the state NSCDC Command.
The judge, who was billed to retire on July 5, was supposed to rule on cases on July 4, her last day in office, but a viral video showed the civil defence officer denying her access to her courtroom.
Karatu, until her retirement, was the most senior judge in Kebbi State judiciary but was reportedly denied confirmation as the substantive chief judge by the state house of assembly.
But the CG in a statement in Abuja on Monday, sued for calm, insisting that the Corps, as a law-abiding agency of government charged with the responsibility of protecting the people and their property, could not have infringed on the fundamental human rights of the judge.
Muhammadu said when his attention was drawn to the video on the social media, he summoned the Kebbi State Commandant to Abuja and also constituted a committee to look into the matter for appropriate action.
The CG added, “However, the report from the state said the court entrance was under lock and key by the government and the officer was assigned to protect the premises from being vandalized as requested by the State Judicial Council in a letter to the state command.
“Upon the arrival of the Judge, the officer approached to inform her that the entrance was under lock, but unfortunately, he was not given a listening ear, but was rather accused of preventing the judge from entering (the courtroom).”
Muhammadu said the incident should not be misinterpreted, noting that the corps under his watch, would never take sides, “but will deliver quality services to all and sundry irrespective of class or creed.”
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