DIRECTED TO DELIVER THE SIMPLE JUDGMENT WRITTEN FOR HIM ON MONDAY
… JUDGE SAYS HE DOES NOT HAVE JURISDICTION BUT AGREES TO OBEY THE GOVERNOR
There seems to be a very major trouble in the Governor Obiano administration efforts to impose Prof Charles Soludo as the Governorship Candidate of APGA as the Governor was visibly angry with the judge who he summoned Sunday afternoon and directed to deliver a judgment in favour of Prof. Soludo unfailingly on Monday morning.
The Governor who intermittently raised his voice demanded to know from the judge why he failed to be in control of his Court and deliver a simple judgment already written for him on Friday knowing that it was the day INEC was to make their publication of list of candidates. A source close to the Soludo campaign who is Senior Special Assistant to the Governor and who begged not to be quoted in order not to incur the wrath of the Governor and Prof. Soludo but who was privy to some of the meetings, said a former house of Assembly member from Onitsha who is the liaison between the judge and the campaign was already in Abuja with a copy of the pre-written judgment waiting to serve it on the Electoral Commission immediately he gets information that the Judge had read the judgment. He quoted a visibly angry Governor as saying that “you know that somebody was waiting at INEC Headquarters with a copy to serve immediately you read the judgment yet you failed even after I have met all your demands. Now you have crumbled the entire campaign just because you were not man enough”.
All the protestations of the judge that from the processes filed before him few days and some a day before the Friday date planned for the judgment that it was obvious he lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter fell on deaf ears as the Governor directed that the judgment must be delivered on Monday morning.
There were rumours that the judge would deliver the judgment of the case that day even before hearing which warranted many citizens to fill the Courtroom.
However matters took a twist that Friday morning when the court was faced with more than 5 fresh applications and motions. It became impossible for the already written judgment to be read even as the proceedings dragged to 4pm as the said judgment would not have factored in the very many applications heard the Friday morning till afternoon some of which the court reserved their rulings to be read with the judgment in the case.
It would be recalled that very strange things happened in the Court of Justice Okaa on Friday 16th June, 2021 when he struck out two Motions on Notice for joinder by the Jude Okeke group and also struck out another Motion for him to Disqualify himself backed with two affidavits for holding a private meeting with an associate of Soludo in the absence of other parties. This Motion for disqualification of the judge was dismissed without a hearing. A letter for stand down of the case till 12 noon to enable Counsel to the 4th to the 6th Defendants see his doctor which was consented to by all the lawyers in the case was ignored by the judge who proceeded by dismissing the motion which contains unassailable evidence of his meeting with one Barr. JPC Aneto , an APGA chieftain and a long time associate of Prof Soludo at the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He also refused to rule on a Motion for stay of Proceedings seeking to allow the Anambra State High Court Administrative Judge ascertain whether the Suit before Justice Okaa which is Suit A/201/2021 and another suit being Suit A/202/2021 before Justice Ike Ogu both of which were filed by agents of Governor Obiano and Victor Oye and which had very similar prayers should be heard differently by two different Courts. This Motion for Stay of Proceedings was admitted by Ikwueto SAN who represented the interests of Victor Oye and Governor Obiano by not filing any Counter Affidavit to the Motion. But the Judge will dismiss this Motion tomorrow we have been informed. The judge heard another Motion challenging his jurisdiction which he has also been directed to dismiss and deliver judgment.
The counsel for INEC who appeared for the first time on Friday informed the Court that he was still within time to file his responses to all the different processes filed in Court, the Court over ruled him and directed that INEC would not allowed to file anything.
To underscore the fact that the judgment had been written before last Friday sitting of the court for the judge to deliver it that same Friday, a contingent of heavily armed police men were deployed to the court to protect the judge and escort him out of the court after he must have delivered the already written judgment. The deployment of the Policemen came upon the pleas of the presiding judge that his life will be in danger if there is no Police reinforcement. There were over 50 Police officers deployed by the Commissioner of Police of the State on the directive of the Governor.
Funnily while the sitting lasted, the judge was informed that INEC had published the name of Hon. Umeoji from the Jude Okeke faction of APGA as the candidate of APGA for the election and told that it was the same Jude Okeke group he refused their joinder application because he wanted to deliver judgment same day, the judge in exasperation removed his wig and slammed it on his desk. So it is no surprise the marching orders of the Governor that the judgment must be delivered Monday morning.
Our sources also disclose that the judge will start sitting by 9am tomorrow morning and will deliver judgment in favor the Oye and Soludo group. It remains to be seen however how he would bring in the Jude Okeke faction and his candidate, Hon. Umeoji popularly known as Oba Aguata into the judgment when he had thrown out their application for joinder, and how the judgment will affect the decision of Inec in publishing Hon. Umeoji’s name as the candidate of APGA for the November 6 election.