Friday, March 24, 2017 3:51 pm
A Federal High Court judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, on Friday in Abuja, withdrew from handling a suit challenging the removal of Sen. Bassey Akpan (Akwa Ibom), over negative publications by an online media.
When the matter came up, Dimgba told parties that he was withdrawing from the matter on account of the said publication.
Dimgba said this was because the publication disparaged his person and insinuated personal interest following the conduct of proceedings on March 8.
He had on March 22, stated his intention to withdraw from the matter following the negative publication, which counsel to Akpan and those of INEC and Mr Bassey Etim denied knowledge of.
The judge held that even though he acknowledged the apologies of counsel in the matter, it would be better for him to withdraw from the matter.
He said if he decided to take the motion and the objections and found them meritorious and struck them out, the plaintiff would say he had succumbed to the blackmail of the defendants.
He said on the other hand, if he handled the matter and give judgment, one way or the other, the plaintiff would say that he had played along with the plaintiff.
“I think, the best thing to do, is to withdraw from this matter and return the case file to the Chief Judge for re-assignment to another judge”, he said.
Akpan’s election was nullified on Feb. 27 and he was consequently sacked from the Senate by a Federal High Court sitting in Uyo.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was ordered to issue a certificate of return to Bassey Etim, as winner of the National Assembly election held in the state.
Dissatisfied with the judgment, Akpan approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, with an ex-parte application seeking interim preservatory orders against INEC.
He sought the same orders against the Senate President, Clerk of the National Assembly and Clerk of the Senate, who were defendants in the suit.
Dimgba then ordered that, the defendants/respondents should appear on March 8 to show cause why the interim preservatory orders as sought by the plaintiff/applicant should not be granted.(NAN)