Onyeriri seeks transfer of case against Okorocha
Onyeriri seeks transfer of case against Okorocha. The People’s Democratic Party’s candidate in the Imo West Senatorial election, Hon Jones Onyeriri is seeking the discontinuation of the trial of the suit involving him, the All Progressives Congress candidate, Chief Rochas Okorocha and six others by Honourable Justice Taiwo Taiwo. The PDP candidate had in a motion sworn to by his counsel, Chijioke Nzekwe, requested the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to transfer the suit to another Judge, noting that his client has lost confidence in the ability of the Honourable Justice Taiwo Taiwo to hold the scale of justice in the matter. Following the refusal of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to grant him Certificate of Return, the APC candidate in the just concluded National Assembly election, Rochas Okorocha approached the Federal High Court for redress.
Apart from the PDP candidate, others who were joined in the suit included: INEC, Senator Osita Izunaso, the APGA candidate, Nwachukwu Clement Ibeh Onyeoma and Precious Nwadike. Although, the Returning Officer of the Imo West Senatorial election, Professor Innocent Ibeawuchi declared Okorocha winner of the election, he renounced the announcement, stating that he did it under duress, alleging Okorocha’s threats and intimidation. “I declared this thing before under duress; I’m still under duress declaring this one,” Professor Innocent said.
The suit came up for hearing on Friday, 5th of April, 2019
The suit came up for hearing on Friday, 5th of April, 2019 before Honourable Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court of Nigeria. In his application seeking the transfer of the suit the PDP candidate alleged that in the course of the said proceedings, the Judge made utterances which clearly showed that he had taken sides in this matter. According to him, in spite of the notices of Preliminary Objection raised by him and the 3rd defendant challenging the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court to hear this matter, the applications are yet to be taken by the court. “It was evidently clear to all and sundry that His Lordship had made up his mind on what to do about this matter and taken a position on the applications challenging his jurisdiction to hear the case before commencing hearing on the said applications,” the motion stated.