Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has sworn in Justice Aisha Bashir-Aliyu as the substantive Chief Judge of the state. She became the first female Chief Judge in Nasarawa State.
The Governor also inaugurated Barrister Mohammed Sani Bawa and Hon. Peter Mbochu, as chairman and member of the state Local Government Service Commission respectively at a ceremony at the Government House, on Monday.
Shortly after administering the oath of office on the new CJ, the governor said his administration took the judiciary as a critical institution providing the needed impetus to strengthen relationships among organs of government.
Engineer Sule added that his administration will continue to support the judiciary, towards quick dispensation of justice stressed that the government has okayed the increase in subvention of the judiciary to allow for the implementation of the harmonization law, as well as enhance allowances of magistrates and judges of Area Courts.
The Governor then appealed to members of the Judicial Staff Union currently on strike, to return to work in the interest of the people.
The governor also used the opportunity of the event to call on Justice Aisha Bashir-Aliyu, being the first female CJ in the state, to see her appointment as a litmus test, urging her to bring her wealth of experience to bear in the discharge of her onerous task.
“You must remember that as head of the Judicial Arm of Government, you are the symbol of fairness, equity, justice and objectivity,” he stated.
Engineer Sule further tasked the CJ to view her appointment as a call to serve the people, urging her to let the fear of God and public interest take precedence over personal interest while carrying out her official duties.
Inaugurating the chairman and member of the local government service commission, the governor expressed concern that the local government administration, which is supposed to provide development at the grassroots has been reduced to an avenue for siphoning resources.
Engineer Sule decried the situation where local government councils in the state, have become the dumping ground for the cronies of influential members of the society, under the name of recruitment, with an over-bloated workforce.
According to the governor, most of the council staff, have become like pensioners, who relocate to the cities and wait for the month-end to receive alerts, with the system bastardised, having no due process in promotion and placement of staff.
He pointed out that the consequences of these ugly situations are the resultant accumulation of arrears of pension and gratuities, as well as other challenges associated with the delay and non-payment of local government staff salaries and allowances.
Engineer Sule disclosed that his administration will ensure full implementation of the recommendations of the committees earlier set up by the state government to look into the finances of the councils.
The governor warned that anyone found wanting, will face the full wrath of the law, no matter how highly placed.
“We must do the needful to rescue this critical tier of government and give life to local government employees who have been agonized for too long due to no fault of theirs,” he said.
Engineer Sule described the re-appointment of the chairman and appointment of a new member, into the local government service commission, as strategic, considering its vital role in the effort to reposition the system.
He charged the chairman and members of the commission to initiate new mechanisms to regulate recruitment, ensure proper placements of promotion, training and discipline, further urged them to adhere to the civil service rules and due process.