Connect with us


Investigation: How Cross River State Magistrate Pervates Justice, Exploits His Office For Personal Gain



A Cross River Justice of the Peace forcefully seized, impounded and offered a automobile belonging to a defendant’s good friend as a way to get better cash owed by the defendant.

The defendant within the case with go well with No. IKM/RTM/12/2019, Mr. Loveday Eke had pushed his good friend’s automobile to the courthouse on Could 10, 2019  when his good friend’s automobile was seized, impounded and offered regardless of the automobile belonging to Mr. Edim Samuel Okpa.

On Wednesday, twenty seventh March, 2019, judgment was given in Go well with No. IKM/RTM/12/2019 in favor of Mrs. Florence Harmless that, Mr. Loveday Eke pay her “N400,000 being arrears of two years hire, mense revenue of N16,000 monthly from January 2019 till possession and N15,000 for price of motion.”

Unable to fulfill up with the judgment, Mr. Loveday’s properties valued at over N1.2 million, his good friend’s automobile (Toyota Camry, 2007 mannequin) valued at N3.4 million was auctioned to get better the sum of N463,000. This motion was taken regardless of the landlady agreeing to the pleas of the defendant by lowering the quantity demanded to N200,000. Regardless of the settlement the Justice of the Peace nonetheless auctioned off Mr. Loveday’s properties, seized, impounded and offered Mr. Loveday’s good friend’s automobile.

Primarily, the motion was taken to get better a stability of N50,000 from Mr. Loveday. Individuals aware of the nefarious actions of Justice of the Peace Bassey Nsidieti Bassey, Registrar of Ikom Justice of the Peace’s Court docket instructed our correspondent in anonymity that this was his regular observe.

Justice of the Peace Bassey who led the gang to forcefully takeover and promote the automobile belonging to the budding businessman’s good friend, Mr. Edim is shielding one other judgment debtor from paying Mrs. Scholastica Bisong N725,000.

Mrs. Scholastica obtained a judgement in her favor in opposition to one Mr. Isiaka Adeleke however couldn’t implement it as a result of the defendant is the mechanic of the corrupt Court docket official, Justice of the Peace Bassey.

In a try to radicle the Court docket, Mr. Isiaka filed a movement asking that he be permitted to service his judgment debt of N725,000 by N15,000 each month.

In 2018, the Registrar of Ikom Justice of the Peace’s Court docket was made a Justice of the Peace, since then, he has performed the function of a Justice of the Peace (with no Court docket) and a Registrar, side-by-side. There are three Justice of the Peace Courts in Ikom and three Justice of the Peace manning them.

Selective Judgment Enforcement

“I couldn’t pay my hire and my landlady gave me quiet discover on a sure weekend that I used to be not at house, I used to be referred to as that Court docket Administrative workers have been in my home, I rushed again house and was instructed they’ve an order to deliver my properties to Court docket.” Mr. Loveday Eke narrates his ordeal to CrossRiverWatch.

He ran to plead with Justice of the Peace however he refused to name his males off. Whereas within the Court docket pleading for the discharge of his good friend’s automobile simply impounded, his house was forcefully entered and swept clear of all worthwhile.

Every thing in his effectively furnished 3 bed room house valued at over N1.2 million was swept away leaving him with simply the trouser, shirt and footwear he was placing on. “I ran to a good friend and borrowed his automobile to run round, I raised N150,000 and took to him (Bassey), he directed I hand it over to the lawyer incharge of the property and I did, he gave me receipt for the N150,000 I paid, base on the settlement between me and my landlady.” He revealed.

Recounting how the Registrar intentionally supposed to exploit him, the younger businessman disclosed that: “He stated the cash I’ve to pay is about N380,000 and have to be in money, when paying to my landlady, if she says her cash is N200,000 the Court docket retains the stability. I went there a couple of week later, he threatened me by no means to come back there once more else he’ll arrest me, my good friend’s automobile I drove there was impounded, two telephones and different gadgets in it have been seized.”

The automobile and different properties valued at over N4.5 million was auctioned as a result of he questioned why he’s to stability N230,000 as a substitute of N50,000. The automobile was offered to a workers of Eco Financial institution, Jackson and he was arrested, the Registrar and his gang offered the automobile to another person from Cameroon and instructed to maneuver the automobile without delay.

“I tracked the automobile to Cameroon, the individual in possession of the automobile was arrested. Monday morning on reaching there with proof of possession, I noticed a lawyer (Barrister Ateke) with Court docket papers defending the suspect, I used to be reasonably arrested and detained in Cameroon for 2 days, I spent near N120,000 earlier than I obtained my freedom. That’s how the story of the automobile ended,” he stated as tears wrinkled his eyes and he added after a pause, “I went to a lawyer exterior Ikom, he was threatened severally to drop the case. I attempted by petition after submitting a movement in Court docket on seventeenth of Could, 2019 and it by no means got here up, when it was scheduled lastly for thirtieth Could, 2019 and thirteenth June, 2019, it was by no means heard.”

Moreover, Mr. Loveday stated: “He (Registrar Bassey) ultimately confessed (to the crime) and referred to as for a dialogue, he stated he’ll get one other automobile and instructed us that, the legal professionals incharge of the property (Dennis and Mgboki) are a part of the deal. He gave us a time-frame to return all the things however he has failed to take action.”

February 8, 2019, Mrs. Scholastica Bisong paid Mr. Isiaka Adeleke N1,855,000 for a automobile, Toyota Camry, 2009 mannequin. “When he introduced the automobile I rejected it as a result of it was scrab. He went to Gboko and refurbished the automobile, offered it to the Registrar of Justice of the Peace’s Court docket Ikom, Bassey Nsidieti Bassey at N1.4 million and was paid to me in instalment.” She instructed CrossRiverWatch.

“When the stability was not forthcoming I arrested him (Isiaka),” she narrated including that “after a number of failed guarantees, I took Isiaka to Court docket.” His Worship, Solomon Ikongshul who presided over the case in go well with No. IkM/1/2020 gave judgment on Monday, 28 September, 2020 in her favor.

The defendant was instructed to pay N455,000 being debt owed her from the stability of the preliminary sum of N1,855,000 for the acquisition of the automobile. That N200,000 be paid as damages for breaching contract, whereas the sum of N50,000 as price of motion.

The Court docket directed that the sum amounting to N705,O00 needs to be paid in three installments: N235,000 monthly, commencing from October, 2020 to December, 2020.

After execution of the judgment was lengthy overdue, on Monday, 22 March, 2021, Mr. Isiaka (judgement debtor) filed a movement praying for an order for installmental cost of the judgment sum of N705,000 solely, in equal installments of N15,000 month-to-month. And an order for keep of execution in KM/1/2020.

The Court docket presided by His Worship, S. O. Oji ordered the applicant (Isiaka) to adjust to the sooner judgment and pay all the sum of N705,000. In line with the Court docket, “Going by the Judgment Order, Exhibit A, it’s my view that the Movement of Applicant was supposed to delay cost, due to this fact all the sum herein is due and payable forthwith. Price is awarded at N20,000.” Thus, making the full cash owed Mrs. Scholastic N725,000 solely.

“On Tuesday, 30 March, 2021 Registrar Bassey referred to as me to his workplace that Isiaka introduced N110,000, he collected it and handed over to me that by ending of April, he pays the stability.” She instructed CrossRiverWatch revealing that, “When Court docket resumed in June after the strike, I went again to the Registrar and he demanded for N30,000 for execution, I paid.”

Weeks, months handed, no phrase from the Registrar and when she approached him solely to be instructed that, “Isiaka is his (Registrar) mechanic, he repairs Barrister Ojong and Barrister Eyong automobile as effectively, so they can’t implement the judgment, he then instructed Isiaka to go and produce N50,000.”

This investigation revealed that, the N30,000 the Registrar collected from her to help implement the judgment was transferred again (Thursday, 15 July, 2021) which confirms that, he gained’t execute the judgment. The following day, Friday, Mr. Isiaka introduced the N50,000 which made it N160,000 of N725,000 he owed Mrs. Scholastica in judgment.

The hope of getting justice by the 2 vocal victims and others who have been too afraid to talk up has been dashed.


‘Play Ball Or Have It Sizzling And Be Transferred’

A number of Magistrates confided in CrossRiverWatch that in Ikom, you both play ball with the Registrar, His Worship, Bassey Nsidieti Bassey or have it sizzling and be transferred. Their id are withheld for editorial causes.

His Worship, Justice of the Peace XYZ stated, “When judgement is given he does selective execution due to advantages and nobody dare’s query him.”

“Most senior legal professionals don’t like going to Justice of the Peace’s Court docket Ikom as a result of they really feel Magistrates’ there take directives from him. A number of legal professionals and Magistrates have been given life threats to not take circumstances due to his curiosity, I used to be a sufferer.” His Worship, Justice of the Peace QRS disclosed.

His Worship, Justice of the Peace UVW divulged that, “He has a approach of forcing different Magistrates to signal clean arrest warrant when there isn’t a grievance to arrest whoever he likes, then you definately kind out points with him, pay him and regardless of comes up within the Court docket, generally individuals are detained to get them to conform, I used to be a sufferer of this.”

On his half, His Worship, Justice of the Peace ABC stated: “We is likely to be pressured to clean warrants and no case comes up from them, when you don’t signal be ready to have it sizzling and be transferred.”

His Worship, Justice of the Peace LMN aforesaid, “When he turned a Justice of the Peace he was speculated to have been assigned a Court docket the place he’ll preside over circumstances, however I don’t know if he’s the one or the authorities that has refused to assign a Court docket to him, he has remained functioning as a Registrar that he was.

“If a Justice of the Peace is to work as a Registrar it needs to be in a better Court docket, not in the identical Justice of the Peace Court docket, possibly he’s despatched to a Excessive Court docket, Enchantment Court docket, Supreme Court docket however undoubtedly, it’s an abnormally for a Justice of the Peace to stay functioning as a Registrar in a Justice of the Peace Court docket.”

‘He’s A Man Of gods [sic] And Guts’

A supply inside Ikom Magistracy who spoke to CrossRiverWatch below anonymity described the Registrar, His Worship, Bassey Nsidieti Bassey as “a person of gods and guts.”

Recalling a previous incident, he stated: “Some years in the past there was a severe case involving him, the important thing witness who was to testify after failed efforts to bribe him off showing, on the adjourned day, he was swollen that solely his eyes might transfer, after some time he died and that closed the case.

“He (Registrar) has damaged properties due to eros, I do know of two married males he despatched to jail simply to power their wives to mattress, on this Ikom. Usually you probably have judgement and also you’re assembly the Registrar to execute and he ask you to pay, the quantity you paid will likely be added for you, however that cash even when he recovers it from that individual, he doesn’t give to you, no matter he recovers he nonetheless take fee from you.”

He went on to reveal that: “He doesn’t comply with due course of in auctioning, go to his home in Ikom and Calabar, you will note pile of properties. He selects those he likes, public sale the remaining and provides you judgment credit score of peanut, you’ll remorse taking matter to Court docket. One Head Instructor’s cash was eaten by that man (the Registrar), till a letter was written via the Excessive Court docket earlier than he accepted paying that cash, until date he has not paid all.”

On extra shady dealings, the insider stated: “In the event you get the schedule Cross River State provides for submitting fees, you put together two paperwork, take one to Effraya (Etung) to file, identical doc deliver to Ikom, that one will likely be N1,000 or N2,000, his personal will likely be about N6,000 or N7,000, he doesn’t situation receipt and no person is asking him questions, his a lord on his personal.

“He resolve on the Justice of the Peace who seats or transferred, that’s the reason petitions in opposition to him is buried. The Loveday situation is one I wept, he has settled together with his landlady and you continue to auctioned his properties and a good friend’s automobile. Within the case of Madam Scholastica, he has refused to execute the judgment however referred to as for installmental cost, that doesn’t fulfill the judgment and Isiaka sale automobiles, he owns a constructing right here in Ikom.”

The supply who for worry of assault who doesn’t wish to be talked about in print additional revealed to this newspaper that he (the Justice of the Peace) is related as much as the judiciary headquarters in Calabar, which is why petitions in opposition to him could be trashed with out interfacing with the petitioner, “because it occurred within the case of Mr. Loveday who petitioned twice,” he stated.

There Are Procedures For Disciplining Magistrates, Complain To State Judicial Service Fee – Mba Ukweni, SAN

When contacted on telephone about what needs to be carried out within the circumstance of Mr. Loveday and Mrs. Scholastica, Mba Ukweni, SAN suggested that “there’s a process for disciplining Magistrates, the individual ought to make a complain to the State Judicial Service Fee.”

On the truth that Mr. Loveday had filed a movement in opposition to the Registrar that by no means noticed daylight, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mba maintained, “that will be a gross misconduct on the a part of the Justice of the Peace, if it’s so he ought to take the suitable process for the disciplining of the Justice of the Peace.

“I’m not preview to the small print of what’s there, I can’t  additionally begin making agency assertion if there’s a petition. If there’s a petition, it’s to permit the petition undergo the its due course of, the entire hawk of the complain made, it could be too dangerous for a Justice of the Peace to take action.” He stated.

He went additional to posit that, as regard him being a Justice of the Peace and a Registrar in a Justice of the Peace’s Court docket, “switch of service is regular, however what ought to fear us will not be switch of service however the conduct … There have been no Court docket supplied, it’s not the fault of the Justice of the Peace that no Court docket, they’re workers of the judiciary, it’s the place you ship them to, that’s the place they may work.”

Judiciary Headquarters, NBA Not Conscious

The Chief Registrar, Judiciary Headquarters Calabar, Edem Okokon when contacted denied data of abuse of workplace in Ikom Magistracy.

He instructed CrossRiverWatch that: “I’ll not have a transparent thought on it, possibly after the opening of the authorized 12 months I should do some investigation and get again to you.”

On his half, Ntem Ikpi, Chairman NBA Ikom Zone (Yakurr, Obubra, Etung, Ikom, Boki and Abi) instructed this reporter that: “We had an emergency assembly yesterday, it was anticipated at that assembly if there’s something like that its for us to learn. I’ll discover out.”

Nkonang Neji, NBA Chairman, Ikom department confirmed to CrossRiverWatch that Bassey arrived at Ikom as a Registrar and was transformed to Justice of the Peace whereas serving in Ikom.

In line with him, “He has been there as a Justice of the Peace and a Registrar, however not sitting as a Court docket. There are points that battle, a warrant is signed by him and it conflicts with the Justice of the Peace that’s presiding. He says he has energy to signal warrants which is true, as a Justice of the Peace however when you signal a warrant, ship it to the Police to research and cost to Court docket, they need to cost to a courtroom that’s sitting.”

On allegations of abuse of workplace, he stated, “I’ve not heard he has a penchant for going after individuals’s wives. I used to be not copied in these petitions, I’d have confronted him, no person in all of the petitions have ever copied me as Chairman of the Bar.”

He complained about poor infrastructure and funding for the judiciary in Ikom and referred to as for assist.

This investigation was supported by Civic Media Lab below its Investigative Reporting Undertaking.

Share this Story
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *