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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

NJC urged to discipline judge for forgery in suit against Ubah

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The National Judicial Council (NJC) has been urged to investigate the alleged involvement of Justice Bello Kawu of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in a case of forgery and alteration of court documents in relation to a judgment, which purports to remove Ifeanyi Ubah as the senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District.

NJC urged to discipline judge for forgery in suit against Ubah

The request is contained in a petition lodged at the NJC headquarters in Abuja yesterday by Ubah’s political party – the Young Progressive Party (YPP).

The petitioner, while accusing the judge of engaging in misconduct and acts capable of tarnishing the image of the Judiciary, urged the NJC to “properly discipline” him for the alleged misconduct, which the party said was “unbecoming of a judicial officer and has brought shame and disgrace to the Judiciary.”

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Part of the petition reads: “The facts giving rise to this petition arose from a purported pre-election matter with suit No. FCT/HC/CV/3044/2018 purportedly filed by Anani Anacletus Chuka, which was purportedly commenced on 19th October 2018 and a purported application for joinder in the same suit also purportedly filed on the 27th day of March 2019, by Obinna Uzoh which was heard and granted on the 1st of April, 2019 about 36 days after elections was held and result announced.

“On the 1st day of April 2019, Obinna Uzoh purportedly filed a counter-affidavit and Written Address to the Originating Summons.

“On the 11th day of April, 2019, Hon. Justice Kawo purportedly delivered judgment in Suit No: FCT/HC/CV/3044/2018 dismissing the claimant’s reliefs, but surprisingly granted the reliefs sought by Obinna Uzoh in his final written address even though Obinna Uzoh, upon his joinder, did not file a counter-claim or a cross-claim as a respondent seeking the reliefs purportedly granted to him by Hon. Justice Kawu.

“We only became aware of the judgment in October 2019 when Obinna Uzoh sought to enforce the judgement he purportedly obtained on 11th April 2019 at INEC, a period of over six months from the date the said judgment was purportedly delivered.

“Senator Ifeanyi Ubah instructed his legal team led by Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) to bring an application before the court to set aside its judgment that was delivered without jurisdiction and in breach of the parties’ right to fair hearing.

“On the 17th day of January, 2020, the trial court dismissed the application. Consequent upon the dismissal of the Motion to set aside the judgement in suit No: FCT/HC/CV/3044/2018, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah filed on the 20th day of January 2020 a Notice of Appeal.

“Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), while preparing the appellant’s reply brief realised that the originating summons in the record of appeal was not signed by any counsel as required by law, consequent upon which a motion was filed on the 3rd day of March 2020 praying the Court of Appeal to strike out the originating summons as being incompetent and to dismiss the appeal.

“At the hearing of the appeal, the counsel to the claimant indicated to the Court of Appeal that they intended to produce a signed originating summons in response to the above.

“We consequently applied for fresh certified true copy of the original court file containing all the court processes, and the Chief Registrar issued us with a certified true copy of the originating summons as well as the payment receipts and bank tellers issued in this matter.

“In the course of the certification, we realised that the date on the court’s copy of the Aso Savings deposit slip, with teller No: 0148979, and the revenue receipt with receipt No: 11643044 and revenue receipt No: 0148979 covering the payment of filing fees for the originating summons were mutilated to bear 19/10/2018 as the date of payment.”

Source: The Nation

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