Judge Withdraws From Suit Seeking Tambuwal Removal

Speaker, House of Representatives

By Nuel Suji, Abuja.
Justice Evoh Chukwu of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has withdrawn from a suit instituted by a House member, Hon. Abiodun Ishiaq Akinlade, seeking to compel the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal to vacate the speakership seat following his defection in October from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The plaintiff is also seeking for an order of court declaring  that Tambuwal’s deputy,  Emeka Ihedioha, should take over the speakership upon the vacation of the speaker.

The matter was consequently assigned to Justice Chukwu.

When the matter came up this morning, the trial judge announced his withdrawal from the suit on ground that a petition has been written against him.

Tambuwal had written a petition to the National Judicial Council NJC dated dated November 30 challenging the assignment of the case to Chukwu.

He therefore requested the judge to disqualify himself from sitting over the suit because of likelihood of bias that could prevent him from getting justice.

The petition reads in part, “My attention has been drawn to the above suit, which has been assigned to Court 8, presided over by Justice E. S.J. Chukwu, and we wish to make the following observations:

“Sometime in 2013, the said presiding judge, Justice E.S.J. Chukwu presided over the case of Peoples Democratic Party and 12 ORS VS. INEC & 4 ORS, wherein he made a judicial pronouncement, which has been interpreted by some, to the effect that there was no division in Peoples Democratic Party.

“The above decision of Justice Chukwu was heavily relied upon and cited severally in the case of Peoples Democratic Party, House of Representatives; the speaker of the House of Representatives & 52 ORS, suit No. FHC/ ABJ/CS/4/2014.