By Myke Uzendu, Abuja
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has raised alarm over plots by Justice O.A Nwabunike of the Anambra state High Court to frustrate Appeal of his judgement against it’s candidate during it’s primary election by ceasing the case file.
The Judge had in a suit filed by Senator Ugochukwu Uba against the Valentine Ozigbo and PDP declared that Senator Uba was validly elected as the governorship candidate of the Party in a primary election held on June 26 in Awka.
The party in a statement on Tuesday by it’s Spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan claimed that Justice O.A Nwabunike derailed the course of justice by making away with the case file titled Senator Ugochukwu UBA Vs PDP & Ors in a desperate bid to frustrate an appeal against his judgment on PDP Anambra state governorship primary election.
The PDP charged the Judge to immediately release the case file, alleging that the compromises in the case are already known to the public, especially the people of Anambra state.
The party stressed that the only reason Justice Nwabunike disappeared with the case file and refused to make copies of his judgment available to the PDP and its candidate, Valentine Ozigbo, is because he is aware that his perverted judgement cannot stand in any appeal.
The PDP claimed that on July 5, 2021, an aspirant, Senator Ugochukwu Uba, who did not participate in the PDP primary, instituted a suit against the PDP, it’s candidate, Valentine Ozigbo and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), wherein he challenged Ozigbo’s candidature for the November 6, 2021 governorship election.
“Barely 24 hours after Senator Uba instituted the suit, Justice Nwabunike curiously granted an ex parte injunction restraining INEC from carrying out their constitutional duty and also abridged the time within which the Defendants are legally obliged to file their defence from 42 days to only 3 days in violation of Order 16 Rule 1(2) of the Anambra State High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019.
“Despite the obvious hardship created by this strange ex parte order, the judge, on the day of hearing, being the 16th of July 2021, denied the defendants time to respond to the processes served on them and proceeded with the hearing of the Plaintiff’s case.
‘Regardless of the 180 days provided by the constitution for the hearing and determination of pre-election matters, the Honorable Court hastily concluded proceedings and delivered judgment within 14 days”.
The party said that the most unfortunate part of the episode is that the judge, after hastily delivering the Judgment, made away with the case file and refused to release copies of his judgment to the defendants despite their application in the open Court as well as an official application to the judge and lamented that to the chagrin of the Defendants, the Court released copies of the Judgment to the plaintiff, Senator Uba.
PDP said that the trial judge has been making every effort to frustrate the notices of appeal filed by the PDP and her candidate, Valentine Ozigbo.
“The PDP notes that the reason Justice Nwabunike is employing these legal shenanigans is to frustrate the Defendants’ Appeal against his judgment, which was aimed to assist an individual who did not participate in our primary to distract our party ahead of this crucial election.
“We therefore call on the Chief Judge of Anambra State, Honorable Justice O.M Anyachebelu and the National Judicial Council (NJC) to quickly call Justice O.A Nwabunike to order as there must be an end to judicial rascality.
“Justice Nwabunike must be made to release the case file as well as the copies of the judgment because his continued refusal is capable of pitching the Judiciary against the people of Anambra, whose mandate, as being expressed in our candidate, Valentine Ozigbo, is being undermined by Justice Nwabunike” the opposition party stated.