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Judge petitions CJ, seeks case transfer over alleged bias



Judge petitions CJ, seeks case transfer over alleged bias

A retired judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Gladys K. Olotu, has petitioned the Chief Judge of the court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, seeking transfer of one of her cases currently pending before Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Abuja Division over alleged bias.

Justice Olotu has filed the two cases shortly after her compulsory retirement by former President Goodluck Jonathan in February 2014 over alleged wrong doing. In one of the suits marked; FHC/CS/ABJ/221/2014, the retired judge dragged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and 17 others to court while in the other suit marked; FHC/CS/169/2014, the President of Nigeria and four others were joined as respondents.

The two suits are currently before Justice Abdul Kafarati. However, in a petition dated February 23, 2017 to Justice Auta, Olotu is seeking the transfer of her suit against the EFCC and 17 others from Justice Kafarati to another judge in the Abuja Division.

The retired judge said her request was premised on the ground that Justice Kafarati showed open, clear prejudice and bias in his judgement on her suit against the President of Nigeria and four others.

She questioned the rationale behind Justice Kafarati’s insistence that he lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit while he had decided contrarily in similar case involving a judge of the Federal High Court who was also compulsorily retired from the Bench.

To buttress her claims, Olotu referred to a suit marked FHC/ ABJ/CS/365/2013 filed by Justice Lawal Hassan Gunmi (Rtd) against the National Judicial Council (NJC) and six others. In the said suit, Justice Kafarati dismissed the objection raised by the NJC regarding his jurisdiction to entertain the matter. “It is glaring from these two decisions that Hon. Justice Kafarati has shown extreme bias and prejudice against me based on the somersault he made in my case after he held in Justice Gunmi’s case that he had jurisdiction to hear his case.

“I am therefore pleading in the interest of justice and fairness (which has continuously eluded me in my travails starting from February 2011 to date from NJC, under the Chairmanship of Hon. Justice Aloma Mukhtar (Rtd) to the office of the President under President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the EFCC under Ibrahim Lamorde and now Federal High Court No. 2 with Hon. Justice Abdul Kafarati, presiding) that my case be transferred from Justice Kafarati’s court to another court in Abuja Division”, Justice Olotu said.

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