The Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State, Mr. Fred Udeogu, has dragged the state Chief Judge (CJ), Justice Anselm Nwigwe, before the National Judicial Council (NJC) and Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) over alleged abuse of office.
Udeogu had in the four-page petition dated December 7, referred to what he termed “obnoxious ex parte injunction” in the suit challenging Governor Dave Umahi’s decision on the suspension of the PDP’s State Executive Committee as basis for the action.
The PDP chief, in the petition, called on the NJC and CJN to probe into the speedy re-assignment of the case by the CJ to himself allegedly at the behest of the governor.
He urged Justice Elvis Ngene to recuse himself from hearing the matter, following the objection raised by one of the Respondents that he had a blood relationship with the governor, who had shown more than passive interest in the matter.
He accused the CJ of acting in cahoots with the governor to undermine PDP’s fortunes in state, following the granting of an ex parte application restraining the caretaker committee from acting.
He further argued that the “application was heard in an empty courtroom with only a seat for Mr. Roy O. Umahi Nweze, the governor’s younger brother, and another table and seat for the CJ, as no other person, including members of the public, could gain entrance into the court, as the seats in the court were all removed preparatory to the legal year fixed for the next day.”
While describing the action of the CJ as “very disappointing,” Udeogu called for NJC’s intervention, stressing: “If nothing is done urgently to forestall future occurrences and correct the bad impression given by the conducts of the Chief Judge of Ebonyi State, the image of the judiciary in the state will be exposed to public ridicule.”
He also underscored the need for the Council to take urgent steps to redress the alleged travesty of justice, so as to sustain the hard-earned confidence the judiciary enjoys as the last hope of the common man in society.
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