June 19, 2009

Kutigi querries Ebonyi CJ over rape case

By Dennis Agbo

ABAKALIKI—CHIEF Justice of the Federation,  Justice Idris Kutigi has directed the Chief Judge of Ebonyi state, Justice Alloy Nwankwo, to respond to a petition against him, which accused him of attempting to truncate justice in a case involving his brother in-law.

In his letter to the Ebonyi Chief Judge dated June 10, 2009 with reference number CJN/MAN/B9/S.I/IV/959,  Justice Kutigi, through Mrs. A.L Elebute directed Justice Nwankwo to treat with immediate effect,  the case of alleged miscarriage of Justice against  his (Nwankwo) office in Abakaliki.

Titled ‘Re: Illegal withdrawal of rape/threat to life charges against Chijioke Simon Igwe of Ebonyi state Judiciary,’ Mrs. Elebuteuia, said “I have been directed by the  Chief Justice of Nigeria to forward the attached petition dated May 22, 2009 from Stephen Alefia of No. 9 Nnorom Streetm Abakaliki, Ebonyi state, to you for necessary action, please.”

The petitioner, Alefia who is journalist in Abakaliki had petitioned CJN, alleging that the Ebonyi Chief Judge had murdered Justice in Abakaliki by giving order through his subordinates to withdraw a rape charge against one Chijioke Igwe said to be a brother to the wife of the Ebonyi Chief Judge and allowed the suspected rapist loose in a case that his (Alefia) daughter was involved.

Though the fleeing suspected rapist, Igwe had since been rearrested by the police, re-arraigned and detained in Abakaliki prison, Alefia attached a self-indicating testimony of a court registrar, Mrs. Otuu Helen, who in her reply query, confessed that one of the staff of the Judiciary, Mrs. Eucheria Oyim told her that the Chief Registrar wanted Igwe’s case file back because the accused person was Chief Judge’s relation.