Ikpeazu takes Justice Abang to CJN, NJC
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.”