Cross River denies protesting magistrates

 Nsa Gill, Calabar

 

CROSS River State has said it did not employ the protesting magistrates.

A statement by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Tanko Ashang, said the magistrates recruitment was fraudulent.

The statement reads: “The protesting magistrates, at a meeting, acknowledged that they were illegally recruited.

“Represented by their leaders, the magistrates pleaded with Governor Ben Ayade to regularise their employments.

“Their employment was irregular as it did not have the necessary approvals required for the engagement of any officer into the public service. We challenge the magistrates to present any approvals that were obtained, if any, prior to their engagement or take the government to court if they feel they have a right…”

Ashang however promised to work with the Judicial Service Commission to correct all irregularities in the system.

But Chief Magistrate Solomon Abuo, who attended the meeting, said neither he nor his colleagues admitted to their employment being fraudulent.

“We didn’t admit that our employment was fraudulent. Our employment is neither illegal nor fraudulent. The Judicial Commission advertised vacancies in the magistracy and we applied. We were screened, interviewed and successful ones were sworn in by the Chief Judge, who is also Chairman of the State Judicial Service Commission.

“After our swearing in, we were sent for about three months’ training and a one-week induction course in Abuja. We were issued certificate of participation by the National Judicial Institute.

“When we returned, we were posted to different courts and we resumed sitting. To my knowledge what was expected of us was done. Ours was to follow the process, apply for the job and made ourselves available to be screened.

“When we were not paid, we wrote series of letters to the government and it has set up different screenings about three times which we participated in. If there was anything, they should have made it public since. Why now?”

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Source: The Nation

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