Ik­peazu takes Jus­tice Abang to CJN, NJC

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - From Li­nus Ef­fiong, Umuahia

The em­bat­tled gov­er­nor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ik­peazu, has pe­ti­tioned the Chief Jus­tice of Nige­ria (CJN) Jus­tice Mah­mud Mo­hammed and the Na­tional Ju­di­cial Coun­cil (NJC), to in­ves­ti­gate what he de­scribed as “ir­repara­ble in­jus­tice” al­legedly meted on him by Jus­tice Okon Abang of the Abuja Fed­eral High Court.

In a let­ter to the CJN and NJC, Gov­er­nor Ik­peazu claimed that Jus­tice Abang’s acts of abuse of of­fice and de­nial of jus­tice had thrown Abia State into tur­moil, adding that there was grave po­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty and to­tal break­down of law and or­der in the state.

He there­fore called on the NJC to in­ves­ti­gate and take nec­es­sary dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against the learned judge.

The re­quest was con­veyed in a pe­ti­tion ti­tled ‘Abuse of Ju­di­cial Power and In­jus­tice Meted to Dr Okezie Ik­peazu by Hon. Jus­tice Okon Abang of the Abuja Divi­sion of the Fed­eral High Court in suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/71/2016’.

The pe­ti­tion, signed by one of Ik­peazu’s lawyers, Barr. Emeka Eze, reads: “I am one of the le­gal coun­sels en­gaged by Dr Okezie Ik­peazu in the pros­e­cu­tion of the above mat­ter and have his in­struc­tions to bring to your at­ten­tion and that of the es­teemed mem­bers of the Na­tional Ju­di­cial Coun­cil, the ir­repara­ble in­jus­tice meted to him by Hon. Jus­tice Okon Abang.”

It said: “On June 27, 2016, Hon. Jus­tice Okon Abang de­liv­ered oral judg­ment in the said suit with a pro­nounce­ment in court that copies of the judg­ment will be made avail­able to par­ties within seven days.

“A few hours after de­liv­ery of the judg­ment, we sent for­mal re­quests for the writ­ten copies of the judg­ments, filed a no­tice of ap­peal and an ap­pli­ca­tion for stay of ex­e­cu­tion of the or­ders of the court. The filed copies of the no­tice of ap­peal and ap­pli­ca­tions for stay of ex­e­cu­tion were duly served on all par­ties, in­clud­ing INEC, on the same day.

“On re­ceipt of our no­tice of ap­peal and ap­pli­ca­tion to stay ex­e­cu­tion of the or­ders of the court, Jus­tice Abang sur­rep­ti­tiously and with­out our knowl­edge, en­rolled a seven paged or­der signed by him, and de­liv­ered same to the plain­tiff, to en­able him en­force the or­ders con­tained in his en­rolled judg­ment, thereby trun­cat­ing the pe­ti­tioner’s rights to ap­peal against the judg­ment.

“I make bold to state, with due re­spect, that the en­rolled or­der signed by Jus­tice Abang, apart from be­ing pre­pared with­out a writ­ten judg­ment, did not em­anate from the re­liefs be­ing sought by the plain­tiff in the mat­ter, but in­tended solely to re­move our client from of­fice and re­place him with the plain­tiff, Uche Ogah.”

Barr. Eze added that the de­nial of the judg­ment to them had crip­pled their pe­ti­tioner’s abil­ity to com­pile records of pro­ceed­ings to pros­e­cute his ap­peal on time, while the is­suance of en­force­ment or­ders en­abled the op­pos­ing par­ties to en­force the judg­ment de­spite the ap­pli­ca­tions for stay of ex­e­cu­tion which were pend­ing be­fore the court.”

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