Uchenna Inya, Abakaliki
The Judge handling the suit filed by Chief Onyekachi Nwaebonyi at the Ebonyi State High Court sitting in Abakaliki challenging the dissolution of the State Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Justice Vincent Nwanchor, Wednesday recused himself from the matter.
The withdrawal was the third time in a row a Presiding Judge was recusing himself from the case after Justice Elvis Ngene and the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Anslem Nwigwe did same some weeks ago when the matter was handed over to them.
The suit was to be ruled on the 18th of this month but was adjourned till January 20 this month following an application by Counsel to the Defendants, Chief Mudi Erenede that they had filed an appeal on the jurisdiction of the State High court.
At the resumed sitting, Erenede tendered another application asking the Presiding Judge, Justice Nwanchor to recuse himself on grounds that he was a brother to the Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Kelechi Igwe who was an interested party in the suit.
He argued that the Presiding Judge failed to protect him in the last adjourned date when Counsel to Chief Onyekachi Nwaebonyi, Chief Roy Nweze threatened to slap him and therefore urged him to ‘step aside’.
But in his counter motion, Counsel to Chief Nwebonyi urged the court to dismiss the application as the claim of brotherhood with the Deputy Governor would not taint his judgment.
He also averred that there was no factual evidence to support the claim that he threatened to slap Counsel to the defendants.
After listening to the arguments, the Presiding Judge, Justice Nwanchor ruled that he could not deny the fact that he was of the same community with the Deputy Governor of the State, Dr Igwe and therefore recused himself to protect the integrity of the court.