Tony John, Port Harcourt
The trial judge handling the N1 billion defamation suit between the Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom, in Okrika Local Government Area, Ateke Tom and eight chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Rivers State, Justice Constance Green, has announced her discontinuation with the case.
Justice Green of the State High Court announced the development, on Wednesday, during the court sitting, saying that she had been transferred to another court, where she lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the case.
The matter, which was adjourned for conclusion of all pending applications, to make way for proper hearing, was stalled, after the trial judge informed the court about administrative changes in the system.
Green told parties in the matter that she had been transferred to another jurisdiction and, therefore, could not go on with the matter. Hence, the case should be reassigned to another judge by the Chief Registrar.
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She, however, adjourned the matter till September 25, this year, for mention, when the next judge resumes.
Speaking with outside the courtroom, Counsel for the claimant, John Kalipa, regretted the development, saying the changes would further delay the conclusion of the matter.
As usual, chiefs and youths of Okrika stormed the court premises in solidarity with their king, demanding accelerated trial.