•Drags him to NJC
From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
For the second time, leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu has asked another judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho to hands off his trial on account of bias.
This is the second time, Kanu will be accusing a judge of bias. The first was Justice Ahmed Mohammed. His motion, including an abrupt change of counsel by the second defendant, Benjamin Madubugwu, yesterday, stalled his treason and felony trial.
When the matter came up before Justice Tsoho, the prosecution counsel, Shuaibu Labaran informed the court that he was “confronted this morning with the motion clearly framed by the defendants to frustrate the proceeding of this court.” He said he needed time to respond to it.
Although, the motion was not moved, the document in court prayed for “an order disqualifying himself from further proceeding in this matter” on the ground of bias against the defendants.
It stated that a formal complaint letter had been sent to the National Judicial Council (NJC) with exhibits marked NJ1 and NJ2 illustrating manifest case of bias in the conduct of the case and other issues that are inappropriate to mention in an affidavit.
Madubugwu confirmed before the court that Amobi Nzelu who announced appearance was his counsel. Even as that resolved the issue of representation, counsel in the matter agreed that Nzelu also needed time to study the case file and arrive at a decision whether or not to align with the motion seeking to disqualify the judge.
With the consent of the parties, the matter was adjourned to September 26, for hearing of the motion and trial.
Meanwhile, Kanu, David Nwawuisi and Madubugwu, have dragged Justice John Tsoho, before the National Judicial Council (NJC).
The trio who are answering to a six-count treason charge before the Federal High Court in Abuja, accused the judge of “misconduct and manifest bias.” Sequel to the petition dated April 26 and an accompanied verifying affidavit on oath, dated May 24, the defendants, yesterday asked Justice Tsoho to temporarily hands-off their case.
They filed the motion on a day the Federal Government maintained that its witnesses were in court and ready to testify against Kanu and his co-accused persons. A lawyer from office of the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mr. M. S. Labaran, while acknowledging the petition pending before the NJC, however, alleged plot by the defendants to scuttle their trial.
“My lord, our witnesses are available, but the prosecution was confronted this morning with a fresh motion from the defendants.
“Even from the face of the motion, there is a clear indication that the defendants are out to truncate the proceedings of this court,” Labaran submitted. He said there was need for the prosecution to react to some of the issues Kanu and the others raised before the council.