Attention: Justice Kutigi-Gross misconduct on the part of the Justice Mercel Awokulehin in the case of FRN vs James Ibori – we urge the National Judicial Council under your able leadership to investigate the circumstances surrounding the letter written to London by the Federal High Court, Asaba.
Attention: Justice Kutigi-Gross misconduct on the part of the Justice Mercel Awokulehin in the case of FRN vs James Ibori & anor. Written by Debo Adeniran Tuesday, 20 October 2009 11:59
Background: Mr. Chairman, we are a Coalition of over fifty Civil Society, Community-Based and other NGOs that are devoted to anti-corruption crusade to free Nigeria from the pangs of unbridled corruption. We have been involved in monitoring the progress recorded in the prosecution of anti corruption cases especially those involving politically exposed persons.
We have being monitoring the case from the Federal High Court, Kaduna, Kaduna the Federal High Court, Asaba, Delta State. It is common knowledge that the Attorney-General of the Federation has been using his position to frustrate the trial of Chief Ibori both in Nigeria and in the United Kingdom.
In order to prevent Chief Ibori from being brought to book the Attorney-General of the Federation has caused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to take the following decisions:
i. all the witnesses in the case have been removed from the EFCC and transferred to different locations all over the country.
ii. Mr. Ibrahim Magu, a serving police officer, who coordinated the investigation of the case has been suspended from the Police for over a year.
iii. Rotimi Jacobs Esq., the counsel who handled the matter at the Federal High Court, Kaduna and at the Court of Appeal has been removed from the case.
iv. The appeal filed at Supreme Court by EFCC against the decision of the court of appeal on the movement of venue of trial of Ibori’s case from Kaduna to Asaba was discontinued without any reason.
Perversion of Justice by the Judiciary
Now the judiciary seems to have been co-opted into the whole intrigues to pervert justice in this case having regard to the role of the trial judge in the Federal High Court, Asaba. The misconduct of his Lordship is unprecedented in the history of the legal profession in Nigeria.
We crave your indulgence by reporting to you the gross misconduct committed by the Judge handling the case of FRN V. James Ibori & Anor. at the Federal High Court, holden at Asaba, Delta State. The details of the gross misconduct of the learned trial judge include the following:
i. the trial judge in the Federal High Court, Asaba, Delta State caused a letter to be written to a trial court in London sometimes in October 2009.
ii. In the said letter the trial court in London was informed that the case at the Federal High Court, Asaba would be disposed off at the next adjourned date on October 26, 2009.
iii. The trial judge in the Federal Court caused the case to be brought forward by calling lawyers on phone to appear before him on October 12, 2009.
iv. The application of the Accused challenging the 170-count charge was taken on October 12, 2009. Ruling has been fixed for November 6, 2009.
v. In line with the information passed to the London judge we have confirmed that the 170-count charge will be dismissed on November 6, 2009.
vi. Since the trial in London has been stayed to allow the Nigerian case to be concluded the dismissal of the 170-count charge in Nigeria will lead to the automatic dismissal of the case fixed for November 9, 2009.
In view of the fact that there is no provision in the Criminal Code Act or Criminal Procedure Act for exchange of letters between a trial court in Nigeria and a foreign court we urge the National Judicial Council under your able leadership to investigate the circumstances surrounding the letter written to London by the Federal High Court, Asaba.
Having disclosed to a foreign court in advance that a 170-count charge would be dismissed on a particular date (before the commencement of trial) we pray the National Judicial Council to call the trial judge to order and transfer the case from him to another judge in the Federal High Court without any further delay.
Executive Chairman, CACOL
Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL)