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Nasarawa appoints first female CJ as former retires

Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has appointed Honourable Justice Aisha Bashir as the first female Chief Justice (CJ) of the State.

The appointment followed the mandatory retirement age of Justice Suleiman Umaru Dikko who bowed out of the service of the Nasarawa on Thursday in Lafia.

Recalled that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as (Amended) specifically by the provisions of Section 291 (2), pegged the mandatory retirement age of a Judicial Officer of a High Court of a State at 65 years of age.

Justice Suleiman Umaru Dikko born on the 31st December, 1955, cumulatively served the state for 65 years as at 31st December, 2020, which is the mandatory retirement age.

Speaking at the valedictory Court Session of the outgoing Nasarawa state Chief Judge, Justice Suleiman Umaru Dikko, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr Hassan Lima, lamented a situation where private bar in the State were not being considered in the process of appointment of judicial officers.

Liman (SAN) regretted that appointment of judges was always characterized by unhealthy bickering and competition aimed at bringing down one another which he said was not healthy for the judicial system.

“However, as much as I am from the private bar, I have never personally had a cause to discriminate or put any distinction against the esteem members of the profession who are of the public bar either those from the Bench, State Ministry of Justice or other related Public Offices”.

Also speaking at the valedictory Court Session, the newly appointed CJ, Hon Justice Aisha Bashir, lamented that the out gone Chief Judge would have done better if the State judiciary was properly funded.

She urged the State Governor, Abdullahi Sule to wade into the lingering issues of non-implementation of promotion, annual increments and half salaries payment system for some judiciary workers in the state.

“It is a worrisome situation that salaries were regularly paid and staff enjoyed promotion and annual increment until 2015, unlike others who enjoyed half salaries for months and not to talk of promotion and annual increments”.

While thanking the government and the people of the State, the outgoing Chief Judge, Justice Suleiman Umaru Dikko, Honourable Bashir said that it was really heart warming working in the capacity of Chief Judge.

The valedictory Court Session has in attendance Governor Abdullahi Sule, Emirs, past and present Chief Justices of Federal and State Courts across Nigeria.