Why Appeal Court removed Chairman of Katsina Judicial Panel of Enquiry

Why Appeal Court removed Chairman of Katsina Judicial Panel of Enquiry

The Court of Appeal sitting in Kaduna has removed the chairman of the Katsina State Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate loss of funds and properties in 2016,  Justice Muhammad Suraj,  saying that the circumstance of his appointment to head the panel will not give an average person the satisfaction that he would be fair to the former governor of the state, Ibrahim Shema. In a lead judgement read by Adefope Okojie, the appellate court justice held that given that the governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari had specifically requested for Justice Muhammad Suraj to chair the panel, there is a likelihood that he may be biased. Her lead judgement which was concurred with by the other two justices in the panel, Ibrahim Shatta and Amina Augie ruled that the chairman of the panel be replaced while the panel be allowed to continue its investigation. The judge also upheld the judgement of the lower court which held that the state government has the powers to set up a judicial commission to investigate activities of past officials, saying that the appellant had failed to prove that the state government is the accuser and the judge.

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