KATSINA-ALU QUERIES ENUGU CJ OVER ROBBERY SUSPECT'S TRIAL
The Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council, NJC, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, has asked the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Innocent Umezulike, to explain his role in the case of an alleged armed robbery suspect whose arraignment in court was delayed for about five years.
An Enugu-based legal practitioner, James Ikeyi, had lodged a complaint against Justice Umezulike, asking the National Judicial Council, NJC, to discipline him for allegedly compromising his judicial oath by frustrating the trial of a robbery suspect since 2006.
Ikeyi lodged the complaint on behalf of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, alleging that Justice Umezulike used his position as the Chief Judge of Enugu State to block the trial of Dr. Linus Ike Onyia.
A copy of the petition to the NJC was also attached to an application filed by the UNTH at an Abuja High Court where it sought to be joined as an interested party in a suit filed against the Inspector-General of Police by a former management staff of the hospital, Dr. Onyia.
Onyia had sued the Police through a motion on notice, for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights. But UNTH asked to be joined in the suit, stating that the applicant had been using court processes to stall his trial for alleged criminal offence of robbery since 2006.
However, the Chief Justice, who acknowledged receipt of the petition, has asked Justice Umezulike to defend himself within two weeks of the receipt of his query.
The query entitled Re: Report of Abuse of Judicial Office by Hon. Chief Judge of Enugu State, Hon. Justice Innocent Umezulike, was signed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria himself.
It read: 'I forward herewith a petition (dated) Seventh April 2011 against you by one Dr. Anthony Mbah, Chief Medical Director, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, on the above subject matter.
'The petition speaks for itself. I shall be glad to have your comments within two weeks of receipt of this letter, please.'