… Matter adjourned indefinitely
By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
The Supreme Court, yesterday, adjourned indefinitely, hearing on the suit involving the Imo North senatorial bye-election of December 5, 2020.
The appellant, Chukwuma Francis Ibezim is before the Apex court, asking it to upturn the judgment of Justice Inyang Ekwo of the federal high court Abuja, which disqualified him from participating in the said election.
Ibezim is also praying the Apex court to setside the decision of the Court of Appeal who agreed with the decision of the lower court and nullified his candidature on the grounds that he made false declaration in the documents he submitted to INEC.
However, when the matter came up, yesterday for hearing, the lead judge of a five-man panel of justices of the supreme court, Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammad, informed counsels in the matter that the proceeding will not go on as scheduled.
Justice Dattijo told the open court that the interim Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) had written a petition against him and two other justices, Helen Ogunwumiju and Abdu Aboki.
According to the judge, APC alleged that the three judges had a meeting with members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to subvert justice in the case
“The petition claimed that my humble self had led my two brothers to attend a meeting with members of the PDP to strategize how to subvert the outcome of this case.
“I must say that this is most unfortunate and my heart bleeds for this country.
“If people as highly placed as the interim chairperson of the APC would open his mouth and make this weighty statement against innocent justices of this court, then I say my heart bleeds. “We are not interested in any matter and I challenge him and the party to substantiate his allegation that my humble self attended a meeting with members of the PDP with a view to subverting the interest of their party.
“This is a reckless and irresponsible statement. That is how these useless statements were made in the past and that is why we are not taking it likely. “If they have honour, let them substantiate their allegations and I will not leave a day longer in this court.
“So, this matter is adjourned sine dine, and parties should approach the Chief Justice of the Federation,’’ the judge informed.
Responding, Counsel to Ifeanyi Ararume, Ahmed Raji, said he was shocked to hear about the allegations made against the justices.
“This is very shocking. I swear with my last day in this court that I Ahmed Raji knows nothing about this issue and I condemn it with all the strength in me. “I sympathise with your lordships and whatever measure your lordship deems appropriate, we are fully in support.”
Counsel to the APC, Ume Kalu, said he was just hearing of the petition for the first time.
“I am taken aback by this. I have never in my life met with the interim chairman of the APC.
“In matters of this nature, we normally deal with the legal adviser.
“In the first place, PDP is not a party in this matter,’’ Ume equipped.