…Urges him to withdraw from matter
Suspicious of conspiracy between the Presiding Judge, Courts 13, Justice D.H khobo of Kaduna State High Court of Justice, and the plaintiff, Mr. Lawrence Enyesiobi, on a case of defamation of character pending before the court, the defendant, former Military Governor of Kebbi State, Col. John IP. Ubah (rtd) has written to the presiding judge to withdraw from his matter for the interest of justice.
Col. Uba, defendant, who is standing trial on charges of defamation of character instituted against him by Enyesiobi, also accused the presiding Judge of bias saying, he has personal interest in the case.
Ubah who is standing in’ for himself as a Counsel, told journalists at the court premises, Thursday, when he met court Hall locked, that he wrote two letters to the judge to grant him audience to make an observation in present of plaintiff, but were ignored.
“A letter of application dated 13th December 2017, and addressed to the presiding Judge of court 13, by the defendant’s company, “En’Adigwu Petroleum Ltd”, observed that there was violation of the provision of section 39 of the Nigerian constitution of 1999 which guarantees freedom and that of the press.”
Titled “Re: Application for audience with the presiding Judge of court 13 in respect of suit no. KADH /KAD/202/2017, between Mr. Lawrence Enyesiobi& Col. JOHN IP Uba, rtd”, the letter stated that the matter was transferred by Hon Chief Judge since 19 day of June 2017, but has not been mentioned to date, “leading to my application for your lordship to hear my observation in presence of the plaintiff”.
The letter continues that “For example, the presiding Judge in court 10 sent out members of press and prevented them from covering my matter on the day of mentioning”, which prompted the initial transfer.
In the letter, Ubah also observed that even though section 36 of the Nigerian constitution of 1999, guaranteed fair hearing, but the provision was violated since transferred to the court on 19 June this year.
He said the matter has never been mentioned till date, even when the court was one of a vacation court.
Defendant also raised the issue of practice of directive implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, on order 7, which is on trial, saying it “provides for 180 days to conclude trial of matter” among others, including Kaduna high court civil procedures rules 2007, order 42, 2, explicit in respect of public and private sitting of court, that were violated, but the Judge refused to grant him audience.
He expressed conviction that the reason behind the continual ignominy of his case in court was because the judge is uncomfortable with the presence of the pressmen to cover the session.