The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has accused Justice O.A Nwabunike of the Anambra State High Court of refusing to release his judgement on the suit brought against the party and others by Ugochukwu Uba, the factional candidate in the upcoming governorship election in the state.
The statement was released by Kola Ologbondiyan, its National Publicity Secretary,
According to the party, the judge was trying to derail the course of justice by. his action “in a desperate bid to frustrate an appeal against his judgment on PDP Anambra State governorship primary election.”
The major opposition party urged the judge to immediately release the case file, “as the compromises in the case are already known to the public, especially the people of Anambra State.”
PDP added that the only reason the judge 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) is aware that his perverted judgement cannot stand in any appeal.”
The statement added: “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 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 official written application to the judge.
“However, to the chagrin of the Defendants, the Court has gone ahead to issue copies of the Judgment to the plaintiff, Senator Uba.
“Moreover, 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 further alleged that “the reason Justice Nwabunike was 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.
“The party, 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,” it added.