Impunity Reigns As Cross River Magistrate Redeploys Subordinate After CrossRiverWatch Exposed His Alleged Misconduct

By Archibong Jeremiah

In what may be described as aiding and abetting corruption, the judicial authorities in Cross River State have refused to act despite CrossRiverWatch investigation that proved Magistrate Bassey Nsidieti Bassey, Registrar of Ikom Magistrate’s Court is allegedly abusing his office for personal gains.

The Chief Registrar, Judiciary Headquarters in Calabar, the State capital, Mr. Edem Okokon when contacted said he’s in Abuja at the moment but will return next week.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to cover up his alleged abuses, the Registrar of Magistrate’s Court Ikom has reposted his staff, openly targeting Mrs. Helen Iwara, believing she assisted CrossRiverWatch in exposing his alleged wrongdoings.

He issued a circular Tuesday 16 of November, 2021 but it was backdated to March 16, 2021 directing the affected worker to handover and resume November 19, 2021.

The alleged corrupt Registrar in the circular said “the exigency of service has necessitated the posting/schedule of duty(s) with immediate effect, for effective optimum service delivery in the public interest as approved by the Senior Magistrate/Registrar incharge.”

Mrs. Helen lwara who is Principal Litigation Officer 1 and Head of Process and Assessment Processes and Signing of all affidavits was demoted to Clerk of Court 2 and replaced by her junior, Ekoma Ayang, Higher Litigation Officer who until now was Clerk of Court 3.

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Blessing Enagui, a Clerical Officer, currently working as Clerk of Court 2 is to replace Ekoma in Clerk 3. Nlicholas Elege and Francis Mbuse, both Chief Bailiff 1 were not affected. Elege remained as Chief Bailiff incharge of Bailiff/Revenue while Francis a staff in the Bailiff section.

One month, three weeks after a two-month CrossRiverWatch investigation revealed that he is selectively implementing judgements of the competent court, allegedly shielding criminals from justice among other suspected acts that desecrate the temple of justice, nothing has been done by the authorities.

Three days after the exposure, the link of the investigation was shared by Magistrate Achere Agbor to Magistrate’s Association of Nigeria, MAN, Cross River chapter WhatsApp group, the alleged office abuser, Bassey attacked his colleague for sharing the link.

“Are you among the Magistrates purportedly furnishing your cohort’s faults and un-investigated publications against me? How happy and courageous are you to post this in Man’s platform?” Nsidieti reacts.

Magistrate Achere replied, “my brother, I did not write this article. This article is public for everyone’s consumption. I am also aware of the fact that you are on this platform. The best way to help a friend is not through gossip. It’s to give you the opportunity to defend yourself or bring to your knowledge facts you may not be aware of. The article could still be circulated by private chat amongst members of this platform but I don’t do that.”

Not satisfied, the exposed and allegedly corrupt Registrar replied, “dear, you never call me privately concerning this article you claimed. You never think of verifying the same … Might be you are satisfied over that allegations … it’s well oooo.”

An insider confided in this reporter that “Magistrate Bassey is deeply connected to the powers within the judiciary. They won’t do him anything and indeed nothing has happened so far. They have instead ignored and turned a blind eye to the damning report. They keep claiming that there is no direct petition against Bassey.”

Another within the corridors of power in the judiciary headquarters revealed, “he accused the staff working at the registry that a petition came as a bomb which he doesn’t know its source. He thereafter started an internal reposting of staff. Some are reposted from superior positions to inferior positions. He challenged them as usual that they can go anywhere or call the headquarters and nothing will happen.”


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