Lawyer petitions NJC over alleged delay in hearing party matter in Court

The National Judicial Council has been petitioned by aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State, over the alleged unwillingness of Justice Evelyn Anyadike of a Federal High Court in Umuahia to hear their case which was filed before her.

A copy of the petition which was made available to DAILY POST on Friday by the Lawyer to the aggrieved members of PDP, Nnamdi U. Nwokocha Ahaaiwe complained that the matter was being unnecessarily delayed, fearing that justice may elude them in that circumstance.

A copy of the petition which was acknowledged by the office of the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC), explained that the matter before the Federal High Court was a pre-election matter that ought to have been given an accelerated hearing, but the reverse was the case.

The petitioners pointed out that the court had already given a judgement on the 2022 Electoral Act in Umuahia, nullifying the exercise carried out by the National Assembly in a case between Mr. Ndudi Nwagbara and six others, versus the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The development, they said necessitated their write-up to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court on the 27th of July, 2022, but there was no action.

According to them, another write-up was forwarded to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court on the 15th day of August 2022, without a response.

Part of the petition read: “perusal of the aforesaid communication will show that the gravamen of our complaint is that contrary to the express and extant directives of both the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the Practice Directions issued by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, our case was adjourned from the 21st day of July 2022 to the 30th day of September 2022 by the Federal High Court 1, Umuahia, which proceeded on vacation, contrary to the extant directives that all Courts hearing pre-election matters should not go on vacation until they conclude the cases pending before them which ought to be heard on a day-to-day basis.”

The petitioners said the first and second defendants were yet to enter appearance four months after, thereby creating an apprehension that something fishy was going to happen.

“In view of the fact that the Court hearing, the judge matter had proceeded on vacation contrary to the extant directives, we applied to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria to assign the case to any vacation Court in Nigeria for hearing in view of the several steps still to be taken in the matter.

The lawyer said members of the party [claimants] are encumbered by the development which has made their opponents subject them to mockery.

They also cited the effluxion of time as an opportunity their political opponents are waiting to utilise.

“By the 30th day of September 2022, when hearing in the case is set to resume if nothing urgent is done, there will be barely a month and nine days to the expiration of the constitutionally regulated lifespan of the case.

They called for the Acting CJN’s intervention, asking for an accelerated hearing of the case for want of time.