Abia: NJC dismisses petition against Abang, says no proof of misconduct

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has cleared Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja of any wrong doing in his judgments sacking Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State from office.

The NJC also cleared the judge in the judgement he delivered in favour of the factional leader of the of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ali Modu Sheriff, saying no proof of misconduct was found against the judgement.

The clearance was contained in a letter addressed to ‎Chief Oyedele M. Ibini with Ref No. NJC/ F.3/FHC.44/V/131, to Charles Esonu with Ref. No. NJC/F.3/FHC.44/v/129, another letter to Emeka Eze with Ref. No.NJC/F.3/FHC.44/V/125 and finally the one addressed to Chief Henry Balogu with Ref. No. NJC/F.3/FHC.44/v/127, all dated October 18,  2016.

Chief Henry Balogu and company had petitioned the NJC that Justice Abang had abused judicial powers and meted injustice to the PDP and Dr. Okejie Ikpeazu in the judgment Justice Abang delivered in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/71/2016 between Dr. Samson Okechukwu Ogah Vs PDP.

NJC stated in its letter of clearance that it found no proof of any misconduct against Justice Abang at the end of its investigation and dismissed the petition for lack of merit.

Also, in the  petition written by Chief Ayodele Ibini, PDP secretary  in Ondo State, where he  alleged Justice Abang’s misconduct in suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/439/2016, in the judgement he delivered  recognising the Ali Modu Sheriff faction in Edo and Ondo State, the council discountenanced the petition as it found no misconduct established against the judge.

NJC also exonerated Justice Abang of any wrong doing or misconduct in the petition written by Charles Esonu of the PDP, who had alleged that the court order for Ikpeazu to leave office was reckless and that the court withheld files so that they will not appeal.

In the same breath, the NJC said that the complain of Mr. Emeka Eze, of Emeka Eze and Associates, that the court should not have issued the roll order on suit number FHA/ABJ/CS/71/2016 to the Independent National Electoral Commissions (INEC), immediately after the judgement was delivered has no merit, as the judge “was able to prove that the judgment complained of was released to the parties after four days of delivery.”

It would be recalled that Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had annulled the election of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and ordered INEC to issue a certificate of return to Dr. Samson Ogah.

The court also ordered Ikpeazu to vacate office immediately.

The order was based on the allegation that Ikpeazu submitted false information to his party, the PDP for the party’s governorship primary election held on December 2014.

In his ruling, Justice Okon Abang ordered INEC to immediately issue a certificate of return to the complainant, Uche Ogah.

The judge also upheld Ali-Modu Sheriff as the authentic National Chairman of the PDP and nullified the appointment of Ahmed Makarfi as chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the party.

Abang said the purported convention held in Port-Harcourt on May 21 by the Makarfi caretaker committee was a total violation of court orders.