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Published On: Tue, Aug 25th, 2020

Edo guber: APC petitions Chief Judge, seeks suit transfer

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…opposes speedy hearing of suit against Ize-Iyamu

By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja

The All Progressive Congress (APC), has petitioned the Chief Judge of the federal high court, Abuja, Justice John Tsoho to withdraw a suit seeking Pastor Osagie Ize- Inyamu’s disqualification from Justice Taiwo Taiwo.
The APC also raised strong opposition to the speedy hearing of a suit seeking disqualification of its governorship candidate Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu from the September 19, Edo state governorship election.
The plaintiffs, led by Hon. Momoh Abdul-Razak had through their counsel, Sir Friday Nwosu, sued the APC, Ize-Iyamu, INEC and Audu Ganiyu praying for an order of court to stop Ize-Iyamu’s participation in the election on account of alleged ineligibility.
In the petition dated August 20,/2020 by the National Secretary of the Caretaker Committee, Senator.John Akpanudoedehe, the party accused Justice Taiwo of moving faster in the hearing of suit against Ize-Iyamu by granting abridgment of time to plaintiffs in the matter when motion for same had not been moved.
APC alleged that from its findings, Justice Taiwo has a close relationship with Rivers state governor Mr Nyesom Wike, the Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party PDP Campaign Council in the Edo gubernatorial poll.
The party alleged further that Governor Wike had openly boosted that he would do everything humanly possible to ensure that PDP win the poll by influencing the disqualification of Ize-Iyamu through the court.
APC specifically alleged that on August 10, Justice Taiwo suo motu abridged the time allowed by law for the defendants to respond to an issue even when they (defendants) have not been served with the originating summons by fixing the matter for August 24 when motion on notice for abridgment of time had not been moved by plaintiffs.
“That even when the court granted exparte order for substituted service of the processes in suit no. FHC/ABJ/CS/839/2020, the story all over Edo is that the APC.candidate Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has been disqualified by Justice Taiwo Taiwo
“ That the APC is worried that they have no chance of getting Justice before Justice Taiwo Taiwo on account of his affinity to governor Wike and the anxiety demonstrated by abridging the time for defendants to file processes when the motion to do so was still pending and some defendants had not been served with the originating summons “
However when the matter came up yesterday (Monday) counsel to Ize-Iyamu, Mr Roland Otaru San and that of APC Ehiogie West-Idahosa drew the attention of Justice Taiwo to the petition and asked him to suspend proceedings pending the time, the chief judge will give directive on the petition.
Justice Taiwo however told them to leave the petition for the CJ to treat being an administrative matter, adding that the new practice direction does not permit him to simply hands off from the matter.
When pressed further by Otaru that he must stay proceedings in view of the petition, Justice Taiwo drew the attention of the senior lawyer to the new National Judicial Council (NJC) directive to the effect that in a pre-election matter, no judge shall stop proceedings until otherwise directed by the council.
When the attempt to halt proceedings proved abortive, defendants in the matter applied for adjournment to enable them react to issues raised in the suit and to also allow the plaintiffs move a motion on notice for the matter to b e heard during vacation.
Meantime, the matter has been adjourned till September 3 for hearing of pending motions.

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