An investigation by SaharaReporters has revealed that the Grand Kadi of the Yobe State Sharia Court of Appeal, Hon Kadi Shu’aibu Talba, falsified his age in official documents to enable him remain in civil service.
Public service rules in Nigeria mandate officials to retire after spending 35 years in service or after turning 60, or whichever one comes earlier.
Documents seen by SaharaReporters showed that Talba was statutorily supposed to have retired from service on January 2, 2020 but has continued in his position after fraudulently doctoring his real age.
A check on the National Judicial Council Nominal Rolls for 2009 budget proposal revealed that the Grand Kadi was born on February 2, 1955 but his date of birth was altered to read August 27, 1955.
Not done, Talba in the National Judicial Council Nominal Rolls for 2020 budget proposal claimed he was born on December 30, 1959.
In a letter seen by SaharaReporters and addressed to the Chairman of National Judiciary Council, Ibrahim Mohammed Tanko, the Movement for Justice in Nigeria, North-East Zone, said the Grand Kadi had overstayed his time in service, adding that his continued stay was not in line with the Yobe State Civil Service rules.
“My lordship, It was discovered that the Grand Kadi in Yobe State falsified his date of birth where he has adjusted his date of birth three times to gain long term in service which is against the Civil Service rules of Yobe State and that of the country as a whole.
“My lordship, our first observation proved to us that his actual and official date of birth in the Yobe State Civil Service as aforementioned in the National Judicial Council nominal roll of judicial officers 2009 budget proposal was 01/02/1955 which the retirement date should be 01/02/2020 but an alteration was made to 27/08/1955 and the retirement date remains 01/02/2020.
“And his (Grand Kadi) date of birth was further amended to 30/12/1959 as contained in the National Judicial Council Nominal Rolls for 2020 budget proposal.
"In view of the above therefore, his retirement should have taken effect since 01/02/2020. As such, six months are now added to his years of service which is not in line with the Yobe State Civil Service rules,” the letter signed by Mallam Zakari Adamu reads.
First introduced in Nigeria in 1999 by Zamfara State Government, Sharia law has seen to the delivery of stiff punishments for offenders including for petty offences in 12 states across the country.
Recently, a humanist, Mubarak Bala, and a young musician from Kano, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, were both sentenced to death by a Sharia court in Kano over alleged acts of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad.
Despite widespread outrage that has greeted the decision of the Sharia court, the two men remain in danger and risk being killed for their alleged offences.
But despite criminally falsifying his age to remain in the civil service of Yobe State, Talba, who is the Grand Kadi of the state’s Sharia Court of Appeal, remains a free man, making mockery of the same law he promotes.
His continued stay in the Yobe State judiciary is said to have denied several persons the opportunity of employment and also the chance to climb up the ladder.