Justice Collington Okoroafor of the Abia state High Court, Okpuala Ngwa, yesterday accused the Acting Chief Judge of the State and the Chief Registrar of the State Courts, of planning to undo him.
According to Vanguard, Ngwa said the acting Chief Judge and the Chief Registrar are working together against him following a case he is presiding over which involves the Dr. Emmanuel Ndukwe- led faction of the APC in the state and the Hon. Donatus Nwankpa faction of the party in the state. Both leaders are in court to determine which of their faction is the authentic one in the state.
On October 24th during the hearing of the case, thugs alleged to be supporters of the Nwankpa-faction, had invaded the court and disrupted proceedings.
At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday October 31st, Justice Okoroafor expressed shock in the manner the acting Chief Judge of the state and the Chief Registrar of the state courts, have handled the cases of his court premises being invaded by thugs.
Justice Okoroafor told the court that on the day the attacks happened while the court was sitting, he called the Chief Judge of the state four times but he did not pick up his call. He made several attempts to reach the Chief Juge but he failed. The Chief Judge later sent him a text saying he had been in a seminar all day. Okoroafor added that instead of investigating the attack, the acting Chief Judge decided to reassign the case to a different judge. He added that the Acting CJ has not called me to know what happened.
”I called him four times that day, he did not pick; he later sent me a text message that he was in a seminar”.
Okoroafor went on to reveal that the Chief Registrar tore into shreds, the report of the which was submitted to him by the senior registrar of the court.
“The CR collected the report of what happened and tore them into pieces. What they did was very fraudulent because you cannot remove a pending case just like that. As at now, no order has been served on me by the Acting CJ. What I have is a letter, not an order as the law stipulates. I have just a letter before the file was stolen. I am following the law and the rule of the court. The Acting CJ and CR are now violating the rules they made, it is act of mischief. I will strictly follow the law and the rules regarding transfer of a case” Justice Okoroafor said.
Speaking further, Okoroafor said
“I am still holding on to the matter after he has transferred it to Osisioma. The Acting CJ wants to undo me in this case. It is a case of mischief. Nobody can intimidate me; you can do that only with facts. If I do any wrong, go to the Appeal Court, it is only Court of Appeal that will correct a lower court. The senor registrar of this court swore to a 21-paragraph affidavit and a report dated 25th of October detailing what happened in the court on the 24th, submitted it to the CR but Benson Anya tore the report. They asked the Osisoma Judge to urgently hear the case.”
After listening to other lawyers, Justice Okoroafor adjourned the matter to November 12, 2018, for pending applications.
The Chief Judge and the Registrar are yet to react to the allegations leveled on them by Okoroafor.