Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Justice Ibrahim Auta has directed that the case of certificate forgery instituted against Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, by a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Friday Nwanozie Nwosu, should immediately be returned to the Owerri Judicial Division of the court. The case, Auta directed should be continued and concluded by Justice S. M. Shuaibu.
Already, Justice Shuaibu, who was said to have been stripped of the responsibility by the Chief Judge has been notified of this development and directed to continue and conclude the all important assignment.
Daily Sun investigations revealed that the development is connected with a petition written by Nwosu to the Chief Judge in April, alleging that there were efforts on the part of the governor, his party and strong supporters to bring the reputation of the court and that of the Chief Judge down through perversion of justice.
The petition to the Chief Judge was also said to have alleged that the defendants made careless public announcements and statements that could malign the office and person of the Chief Judge.
The petition also made reference to a statement credited to the governor’s lead Counsel, C. C. Elele, who he alleged to have said in an open court that the assignment of Justice Shuaibu, who had been handling the matter had been revoked by the Chief Judge.
During the last mentioning of the case in Owerri, Imo State early in April, Counsel to Governor Ikpeazu, had informed Shuaibu in an open court that the Chief Judge had stripped him of the responsibility of presiding over the matter.
Our investigations also revealed that Nwosu’s petition explained how the former governor, Senator Theodore Orji announced publicly that he had finished Nwosu’s matter against Governor Ikpeazu at the highest level of Federal High Court and that the outcome of it on April 28, 2016 would definitely be in favour of the governor.
Nwosu was also said to have alleged that the former governor claimed that he had agreed with the Chief Judge to remove Justice Shuaibu as the judge, who would continue and conclude the matter.
Also contained in Nwosu’s petition, we learnt is the allegation that Theodore Orji announced to his guests during a reception organized in his honour that he gave huge sums of money in US Dollars for the purpose of finishing Nwosu’s forgery case against Ikpeazu as no normal person can refuse the kind of money he gave to finish the matter.
The above statements and more were said to have been alleged by Nwosu against the former governor, Senator Orji, and other supporters of the peoples Democratic party in the matter, in his petition to the Chief Judge .
In view of the allegations raised in his petition to the Chief Judge by Nwosu, Daily Sun gathered that the Chief Judge denied all, particularly, having any contact with the defendants, Senator Orji and others, then vowed to remain neutral in the matter.
We also gathered that in order to assure all parties of his neutrality, the Chief Judge directed the returning of the case to Owerri Judicial division for Justice Shuaibu to continue and conclude .
Meanwhile, Justice Shuaibu has been notified of this development and would be presiding over the forgery case on April 28, 2016, against information making rounds in social media that the case has been transferred to Abuja.