Wednesday, February 18, 2015 5:02 pm
Nnamdi Felix/ Abuja
Former governor of Adamawa state, Admiral Murtala Nyako, has accused the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, of frustrating his case challenging the legality of his impeachment by the Adamawa state House of Assembly.
The impeached former governor alleged that the Chief Judge had withdrawn the case file from the Adamawa division of the federal high court where the case was being heard just a few days to the delivery of judgement by the trial judge, Justice Bilikisu Aliyu.
Nyako’s lawyer, Mr. Olukoya Ogunbele, at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, appealed to the Chief Judge to immediately release the case file so that the trial judge can deliver judgement in the interest of justice.
He stated that the withdrawal of a case file few days to judgement date by any judicial officer, is in bad taste and should not be condoned.
The Federal high court has however denied the claims of the former governor. In its reaction, the Chief Registrar of the court, Barr. Rosemary Dugbo Oghoghorie, dismissed the allegation stating that it was not true.
She stated that a counsel in the suit, Mr. Festus Keyamo who’s representing the Chief Judge of Adamawa state, Justice Ishaya Banu, had petitioned Justice Bilikisu Aliyu on ground of denial of fair hearing and forwarded same to the Chief Judge.
Mrs Oghoghorie added that as a tradition, Justice Auta had to call for the case file to ascertain the genuineness of the allegation of denial of fair hearing and also forwarded a copy of the petition to the trial judge for her response and added that the trial judge is yet to respond to the petition against her and that the CJ is still awaiting the response.
Besides, she noted that the Court of Appeal, Yola division had last Tuesday granted a stay of proceedings in the matter and for that reason, that none of the parties can take any step as far as the matter is concerned.
She urged parties to exercise restraint and stop throwing out allegations at highly placed judicial officers for no just cause.
In a similar development Nyako has dragged the Chief Judge of Adamawa state, Justice Ishaya Banu before the National Judicial Council, NJC, for disciplinary action over alleged miscarriage of justice in the suit challenging the legality of his (Nyako) impeachment.
In the petition dated 10th February, Nyako alleged that Justice Banu frustrated his legal action by delaying proceedings in the matter he assigned to himself thereby subverting the cause of justice.
The petition was signed by Mr. Ahmad Sajoh, the impeached governor’s media aide. It was further alleged that throughout the period the case was with Justice Banu, no substantial progress was made as he allegedly used every ploy to delay the case, to the extent of deliberately refusing to return from Abuja to Yola when the case was slated for hearing.
Justice Banu was also accused of giving long adjournment and refusing to attend court on hearing date, thereby, creating unnecessary bottleneck in the hearing of the suit.
The petition further stated that in another suit between Nyako and state house of assembly and two others, Justice Banu through his counsel, Festus Keyamo curiously applied to be joined as interested party in the suit where he had no legal interest to protect.
The former governor called on the NJC to investigate the matter with a view to establishing their veracity or otherwise and to apply appropriate sanctions against Justice Banu in other to protect innocent citizens from any further abuse of his judicial authority.