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Enugu Judge disqualifies self over alleged bias in treason case

By The Citizen
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A Federal High Court judge sitting in Enugu, Justice V. Agishi, on Monday disqualified herself from adjudicating in an alleged case of treason against 11 accused persons.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, Justice Agishi said she could not continue to preside over the case as the accused persons had accused her of bias.

The judge, therefore, said that she had sent the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court and requesting the chief judge to transfer it to another judge.

'In view of the fact that the accused persons have accused me of bias in this matter, this case file has been transferred to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to be assigned to another Judge,' Agishi said.

The accused persons, who claimed to be `Biafrans', are facing trial over a four-count charge bordering on alleged treason. They are: Bejamin Onwuka and Ndubishi Nnamshi, who hailed from Enugu North Local Government Area; Kelvin Ekeh from Enugu East Local Government, Japhet Nwodo and Fidelis Nwonu; both of Idemili Local Government area of Anambra.

Also facing trial are : Paulinus Uzoegbu, Sunday Chukwuma, Uduma Uduma, Betrand Obiekwe, Abraham Ugwu and Ijaga Samson; also from Anambra.

Mr Olu Omotayo, the counsel to the accused told newsmen that his clients had written to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for a transfer of the matter to another judge because of what transpired in court at the last hearing.

He said the accused persons had expressed fears that they might not get justice if Agishi continued to preside over the case

The prosecuting counsel, Mr David Kaswe, had earlier on said that the matter had been reported to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Enugu on June 5.

The accused had pleaded not guilty to the charges when first arraigned.