The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, has been petition by the All Progressives Congress, asking for the transfer of two suits filed against the candidacy Osagie Ize-Iyamu as the governorship candidate of the party in the September 19 election, from Justice Taiwo Taiwo to another judge of the court.
The opposition party noted that it would not get Justice if Justice Taiwo rules over the suit because of his alleged relationship with the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who belongs to the rival Peoples Democratic Party.
The APC, in its August 20, 2020 petition signed by its National Secretary, John Akpanudoedehe, alleged that Wike had openly boasted that he would do everything to ensure that Governor Godwin Obaseki is reelected in the state.
The party stated, “That on August 10, 2020, when Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/758/2020 came up for mention, the learned judge, suo motu, abridged the time allowed by law for the defendants to respond, even when some of the defendants have not been served with the originating processes, by fixing the matter for August 24, 2020, for hearing and that responses must be filed before then.
“That at the time the learned judge made the said order, a motion on notice to abridge time was pending before the court which had not been served on all parties.”
The APC said it had no confidence that it would get justice before Justice Taiwo Taiwo “and therefore humbly request that the said matters be transferred to any other vacation Judge in the Federal Capital Territory.”
Two members of the APC, Momoh Abdul-Razak and Zibiri Muhizu, in one of the suit, asked the court to disqualify the party’s governorship candidate, Ize-Iyamu, and his running mate, Mr Audu Faniyi.
The plaintiffs’ grounds for the suit included allegation that Ganiyu gave false information to INEC in aid of his qualification for the governorship election.
When Abdul-Razak and Muhizu’s cases came up for hearing on Monday, Justice Taiwo said he could suspend hearing the case to await the decision of the Chief Judge.
The judge told Ize-Iyamu’s counsel, Mr Roland Otaru (SAN), and counsel for Ehiogie West-Idahosa, that the court’s new practice direction did not allow a judge to withdraw from a suit the moment a petition was filed.
The defence lawyers then applied for an adjournment to enable them to respond to the suit.
The judge then adjourned till September 3.