Monday, 20 September, 2021

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Anambra 2021: PDP raises alarm over plots by judge to derail course of justice


By Ifeoma Ejiofor

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alerted of plots by Justice O.A Nwabunike of the Anambra state High Court to derail the course of justice by making away with the case file on the Senator Ugochukwu UBA Vs PDP & Ors in a desperate bid to frustrate an appeal against his judgment on PDP Anambra state governorship primary election.

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbodiyan raised the alarm in a press statement made available to journalists on Tuesday.

The PDP charged O.A Nwabunike to immediately release the case file, as the compromises in the case are already known to the public, especially the people of Anambra state.

The party stressed that the only reason Justice Nwabunike disappeared with the case file and refused to make copies of his judgment available to the PDP and its candidate, Valentine Ozigbo, is because he (Justice Nwabunike) is aware that his perverted judgement cannot stand in any appeal.

“The PDP recalled that on July 5, 2021, an aspirant, Senator Ugochukwu Uba, who did not participate in the PDP primary, instituted a suit against the PDP, our candidate, Valentine Ozigbo and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), wherein he challenged Ozigbo’s candidature for the November 6, 2021 governorship election.

“Barely 24 hours after Senator Uba instituted the suit, Justice Nwabunike curiously granted an ex parte injunction restraining INEC from carrying out their constitutional duty and also abridged the time within which the Defendants are legally obliged to file their defence from 42 days to only 3 days in violation of Order 16 Rule 1(2) of the Anambra State High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019.

“Despite the obvious hardship created by this strange ex parte order, the judge, on the day of hearing, being the 16th of July 2021, denied the defendants time to respond to the processes served on them and proceeded with the hearing of the Plaintiff’s case.

“Regardless of the 180 days provided by the constitution for the hearing and determination of pre-election matters, the Honorable Court hastily concluded proceedings and delivered judgment within 14 days.

“The most unfortunate part of this episode is that the judge, after hastily delivering the Judgment, made away with the case file and refused to release copies of his judgment to the defendants despite their application in the open Court as well as the officially written application to the judge.

“However, to the chagrin of the Defendants, the Court has gone ahead to issue copies of the Judgment to the plaintiff, Senator Uba.

“Moreover, the trial judge has been making every effort to frustrate the notices of appeal filed by the PDP and her candidate, Valentine Ozigbo.” Ologbodiyan insisted.

The PDP noted that the reason Justice Nwabunike is employing the legal shenanigans is to frustrate the Defendants’ Appeal against his judgment, which was aimed at assisting an individual who did not participate in the primary to distract the party ahead of the crucial election.

“We therefore call on the Chief Judge of Anambra State, Honorable Justice O.M Anyachebelu and the National Judicial Council (NJC) to quickly call Justice O.A Nwabunike to order as there must be an end to judicial rascality.

“Justice Nwabunike must be made to release the case file as well as the copies of the judgment because his continued refusal is capable of pitching the Judiciary against the people of Anambra, whose mandate, as being expressed in our candidate, Valentine Ozigbo, is being undermined by Justice Nwabunike” Ologbondiyan concluded.

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