The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Tuesday alerted of plots by Justice O.A Nwabunike of the Anambra State High Court to derail the course of justice by hiding the case file on the Senator Ugochukwu UBA Vs PDP & Ors in a bid to frustrate an appeal against his judgment on PDP Anambra State governorship primary election.
The PDP, therefore, charged Justice Nwabunike to immediately release the case file, as the compromises in the case were already known to the public, especially, the people of Anambra State.
The party, in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, 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, was because he (Justice Nwabunike) was aware that his judgement could not stand in any appeal.
The PDP recalled that on July 5, 2021, an aspirant, Senator Ugochukwu Uba, who did not participate in the PDP primary, instituted a suit against the PDP, its 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 exparte injunction, restraining INEC from carrying out their constitutional duty and also abridged the time within which the Defendants were 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.
The PDP said despite the obvious hardship created by this strange exparte 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.
According to the PDP, “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 most unfortunate part of this 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 the officially written application to the judge.”
However, the PDP said to the chagrin of the Defendants, the Court had gone ahead to issue copies of the Judgment to the plaintiff, Senator Uba.
Moreover, it further stated 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 said it noted that the reason Nwabunike was employing the legal shenanigans was to frustrate the Defendants’ appeal against his judgment, which was intended to assist an individual, who did not participate in the primary to distract the party ahead of this crucial election.
For this reason, the PDP said, “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 pitting the Judiciary against the people of Anambra, whose mandate, as being expressed in our candidate, Valentine Ozigbo, is being undermined by Justice Nwabunike”, the PDP stated.