Judge declines to recuse self from ex-minister’s suit

Justice Keziah Ogbonnaya of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, on Monday, declined a request to recuse herself from a libel suit filed by a ex-Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama.

But Mrs Onoh alleged bias against the Judge, urging her to stop adjudicating on the suit.

At the resumed hearing, Counsel for Mrs Onoh, Richard Aneke, prayed the judge to recuse herself from the case based on his client’s instruction.

Mr Aneke drew Justice Ogbonnaya’s attention to a pending petition before the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, seeking a reassignment of the case to another judge.

Her grouse is that she hails from Enugu State, where Mr Onyeama comes from.

The defendant also contended that Mr Onyeama had hatched a plan with the judge to rob her of justice.

In a ruling,  Justice Ogbonnaya said she was assigned the suit by the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Hussein Baba-Yusuf.

Counsel for Mr Onyeama, Agada Elachi, expressed surprise at Ms Onoh’s allegation of bias against the judge.

He added that she has never had any opportunity of witnessing the Judge conduct proceedings to show that the court is biased.

Mr Elachi argued that there was no legal basis for Justice Ogbonnaya to recuse herself from continuing to hear the case.

He further contended that Ms Onoh’s petition was “a ploy to frustrate the hearing of this matter.”

While acknowledging that it was within the Chief Judge’s purview to consider the petition, Mr Elachi contended that “there is no law that requires the Judge to stop proceedings in this matter.

Channels Television

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