Judge withdraws from Nnamdi Kanu’s case over petition to NJC
Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has returned the case file of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, for re-assignment.
At the resumed trial yesterday, Kanu’s lead counsel, Chuks Muoma (SAN), brought an application alleging that the court was biased in the manner it has handled the matter so far.
He told the court that his client had written a petition to the National Judicial Council (NJC) and that it would only be proper for the court to suspend hearing of the case pending the outcome of investigation.He further informed the court that NJC had responded to the petition filed by Kanu against Justice Tsoho, stressing that they were investigating the matter.
Justice Tsoho in his short ruling held that he had no personal interest in the trial of Kanu.He, therefore, decided to return the case file to the CJ, Justice Auta.“Accordingly, this case is hereby forwarded to the Chief Judge for further re-assignment,” the judge said.
The judge, who also condemned the attitude of the defence counsel, said that he acted unprofessionally through his utterances.Justice Tsoho further ruled that since the defence counsel noted lack of confidence in the way the court had handled the case, “it is only reasonable for the court to disqualify itself from further hearing on the matter.”
He added that logically, the procedure would have been for the court to wait for the response of the NJC so as not to pre-empt the council’s decision but he had- to go on with the decision.
In another development, IPOB has urged its members and pro Biafra supporters worldwide not to be deterred by the statement made by President Muhammadu Buhari on referendum. It said that Biafra has come to stay.
In a statement yesterday, IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, said: “It is unfortunate that the President is still confused about the struggle for Biafra and continues deceiving the public about the whole thing. The statement credited to him in far away the United States (U.S.) proves that he is undergoing serious pressure about Biafra.“Meanwhile, IPOB members and Biafra worldwide are not deterred concerning the statement made by Buhari.”