By Ibrahim Ismail
MORE than 25 years after its creation from Bauchi State, Gombe State is still using obsolete laws enacted by the Bauchi State Government to run its affairs.
To this end, the Nigerian Bar Association has urged Gombe State Government to enact its own separate laws so as to strengthen legal operations in the state.
The NBA also advocated for the immediate passage and domestication of the Violence against Persons Act (Prohibition) and Administration of Criminal Justice Act before the state house of assembly. The association said this will improve the administration of justice in the state.
Chairman of the Gombe State branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, Haruna Yelma, made the call during the opening ceremony of the 2020-2021 legal year at the Gombe State High Court. The NBA chairman lamented that Gombe was still using obsolete laws of Bauchi State for almost 25 years after the state was created, even though Bauchi had repealed the said laws.
While commending Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya for his support to the justice system, Yelma appealed for the recruitment of judges to fill the existing gaps in the judicial arm of the state, adding: “There are over 107 Upper Area Courts/Area Courts in Gombe State with less than 60 presiding judges.”
The NBA chairman, however, acknowledged that the state government recently approved the appointment of some magistrates, while others will be recruited soon.
The State Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Zubairu Muhammad Umar, assured that the state government will make provisions for state laws before the end of the year.
Speaking at the inaugural court sitting, the acting Chief Judge Gombe State, Justice Mu’azu Abdulkadir Pindiga, called for the building of a befitting high court complex, pointing that some courts were operating in rented apartments.
The acting chief judge also lauded efforts of the Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya led administration in revamping the infrastructure in the judiciary.
In his address, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya assured of his administration’s commitment and determination towards addressing the challenges that engulfed the state judiciary.