Hearing in the suit seeking the disqualification of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, from the forthcoming election, suffered a major setback yesterday following the withdrawal of Justice Taiwo Taiwo from further adjudicating on the matter.
The Judge has consequently announced his decision to return the case file to the Chief Judge of the court, Justice John Tsoho, for re-assignment to another judge of the court.
His decision followed a petition filed by the APC asking the Judge to withdraw from the case on the basis of his affinity to the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike.
Justice Taiwo who was irked by the content of the petition described them as “wicked and unsubstantiated”.
In an emotion-laden voice, Justice Taiwo said the facts contained in the said petition is wicked and unsubstantiated, adding that it is very disturbing that a counsel could write this petition.
It’s not only Corona Virus that has become a pandemic, but the way petitions are written should also be declared a pandemic.
“Unfortunately, Judges cannot respond to petitions against them through the media. We shall continue to hold our peace, the Supreme being and our maker will continue to vindicate us.
“I have no interest in any of the parties. I have no affiliation with any of the parties. I have no interest in this case. I shall forward the case file to the Chief Judge for re-assignment to a new Judge.
“I can’t take it. I have children who are also lawyers. They call me from London over this. Nobody should toy with my integrity. I couldn’t sleep over this petition but for the presence of my wife.
“The first time I met Wike was in 2014. I have no interest in this matter. I will take it up with the lawyer who deposed to this petition.”
Some of the senior lawyers in the matter intervened and prevailed on him not to take the matter up with the junior lawyer even as they distanced themselves from the petition.
In a petition to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, the party said it has no confidence of getting justice in his court.
When the matter came up for hearing, Justice Taiwo announced his decision to hands off the trial and return the case file to the Chief Judge.
In the petition dated August 20,/2020 by the National Secretary of the Caretaker Committee, the party accused Justice Taiwo of moving faster in the hearing of the suit against Ize-Iyamu by granting abridgement of time to plaintiffs in the matter when a 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 boasted that he would do everything humanly possible to ensure that PDP wins 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.
The plaintiffs, led by Momoh Abdul-Razak had through their lawyer, Sir Friday Nwosu, sued the APC, Ize-Iyamu, INEC and Audu Ganiyu, praying for an order of the court to stop Ize-Iyamu’s participation in the election on account of alleged ineligibility.
Source: The Sun