Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku,, Thursday narrated how he was embarrassed by a defaulting tenant of a Taraba property in Abuja even as the court insisted the tenant should remain in the property in “perpetuity”.
Ishaku spoke during the swearing-in of three judges of the State Shariah Court of Appeal and Customary Court of Appeal in Jalingo.
Those who took oaths of allegiance before the governor were the Grand Khadi, Shariah Court of Appeal, Shuaibu Dahiru Ahmad, Khadi designate, Salau Ismaila Madugu and the Judge, Customary Court of Appeal, Bulus Nyiputen.
Alluding to the sorry state of the judiciary in the country, Ishaku said he was embarrassed and disappointed by the behaviour of the tenant and the action of the judiciary.
“Last week I was embarrassed in Abuja. Somebody rented the State Government House in 2014 for four years and paid two years and we went to court, the rent was N80 million. It was reduced to N40 million. He paid for two years and didn’t pay for the balance.
“When I resumed, I felt the state was being cheated and I said ‘okay, since you have entered an agreement for four years, let us allow you to stay for four years but we are not going to renew the rent.’ And the tenant went on to stay there; not only that, he demolished and renovated the building into a hotel.
“We went to court and went to the extent of calling this fellow, that I would want to see him. He met me at the airport in Abuja. I thought he was a gentleman. I said ‘please, this is our building, vacate it because we want to return it to its status quo.’ He told me he was going to live there until when he likes. I thought it was a joke, I laughed and walked away.
“Now, just last week, making it seven years, making him stay for five years for free and the judge gave a judgment saying that he should stay there in perpetuity,” Ishaku said.
According to him. the judgment was neither “fair” nor “sincere”.
“You don’t need to be a lawyer to know that some judgments are entirely rubbish. I am saying this because you Tarabans, sometimes there are a lot of things that we take here that you don’t know. But some of them we have to expose them,” Ishaku added.
He added that the construction of more courts, fixing of dilapidated structures and hiring more judges would help bring justice closer to the people.
He said the judges were appointed based on recommendations of the Judicial Service Commission and encouraged them to follow the footsteps of those that had made Taraba great in the judiciary.