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Ibori: Clark wants trial judge changed

By James Uwem
ABUJA — IJAW national leader, Chief  Edwin Clark, yesterday, accused the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Michael  Aondookaa, SAN, of plotting to free the former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, from the corruption charges leveled against him in a Federal High Court in Asaba, Delta State.

In a protest letter to the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Idris Kutigi and made available to Vanguard, Chief Clark also appealed to the Chief Justice to replace the trial Judge in the case, Justice Awokulehin, in the interest of justice and fair play.

The letter read in part “with reference to your Lordship’s query letter of 21st   October to Justice Awokulehin on ‘gross misconduct’ for writing directly to a Judge in London in respect of the case of FRN Vs James Ibori and Anor without preference to the hierarchy of the judiciary.

“I  humbly  submit  that it will   not  be in the interest of   justice  and  fair play    for  the  same  Judge    who  is  yet  to  answer   his  query   on  gross misconduct, to  go on and  preside  over a  case in which he is being seen to have already taken side. In that regard, Justice Awokulehin is no longer competent to adjudicate on the matter, therefore he should be restrained from continuing with the case”. Clark stated

Clark faulted the decision to create the Asaba Division of the Federal High Court for the purpose of trying Ibori. He  said   the  move  is  a  game plan by the Attorney-General, Mr. Aondoakaa to free Ibori  in the  criminal  charges  leveled  against  him.

“I  further submit  to my Honourable   chief  justice   that  the  circumstance   surrounding the creation of Asaba  Division  of  the  Federal High  Court and    the  appointments of the trial Judge are of great concern to our people whose property were looted by  the  accused, Chief James Ibori .

“My lord, our fear is that justice will not be done if the same judge continues to adjudicate on the matter, because despite the judgment of the Kaduna Court of appeal, the trial of some governors is still taking place outside their state.

“My Lord, the purpose of this protest letter is to kindly appeal to you to halt the trial in Asaba and cause the transfer of Justice Awokulehin whose integrity and honour is already in doubt,” he said.


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