Group Petitions NJC Over Alleged Miscarriage of Justice

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA, March 25, (THEWILL) - A group, the Delta Forum for Transparency and Probity (DFTP), has petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) over what it described as a miscarriage of justice.

It has therefore asked the Council to investigate a judgment delivered by Justice Mohammed Shittu Abubakar of the Warri Division of the Federal High Court for what it alleged was a miscarriage of justice.

The group , in a petition sent to the NJC Chairman and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, asked the council to investigate a judgment delivered by Justice Abubakar in Suit No: FHC/WR/CS/189/2013 .

The suit involved a dispute over the duly elected candidate for the chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Burutu Local Government of Delta State.

The petition signed by the Secretary General of DFTP, Mr.

Joseph Benike, alleged that Justice Abubakar openly showed signs of affinity to one of the parties involved in the case as t alleged that the judge ignored salient and justiceable arguments and evidence canvassed by the defence counsel in arriving at his judgement.

"Consequently, the position of our lawyers to the effect that nomination of candidates for intra or inter-party elective position precedes any election, among other issues raised were carefully and deliberately ignored and avoided by the trial judge in his judgment" said the petition.

According to the group, contrary to logic, the judge granted all the reliefs sought by the plaintiff who "neither purchased the nomination form of his party to contest for the chairmanship position of the party, nor showed evidence of nomination to contest position.

" Maintaining that though it did not want to impugn on the judge's integrity, the signals which emanated from the judge at the point of delivering judgment caused discomfort to observers.

According to the group, before the judgment was delivered, one of the parties was boasting that the judgment would be in his favour.

The group therefore asked NJC to also investigate whether the judgment was leaked to one of the parties before it was delivered as it cited another judgment where Justice Abubakar allegedly sentenced a human trafficking convict to five years imprisonment with an option of N100,000 fine in what it described as a questionable circumstances.