Tuesday, November 5, 2019 6:20 pm
Justice Richard Olorunfemi of Kogi State High Court sitting in Lokoja on Tuesday adjourned a case seeking the declaration of Abubakar Ibrahim as candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the Nov 16 governorship election to Nov 27 for defence.
Abubakar, son of former governor Ibrahim Idris had dragged candidate of the party, Musa Wada who incidentally is his brother in-law to court on the ground that he was not properly elected at the party’s primary which was married by violence.
The court had adjourned the case to today last Friday after all the witnesses of the claimant testified and were cross examined by the counsels.
When the case came up for defence, counsel to the first defendant (PDP) Kola Olowookere told the court that the former counsel handling the case was indisposed and has therefore handed over the case to him and that he needed time to obtain record of proceedings from the registry of the court in order to study it
He also said the case file was handed over to him less than 24 hours ago and that he needed time to study it in order to determine the mode of defence.
He requested for five more weeks.
He stressed that for justice and fair hearing to be dispensed to all parties, enough time must be given for the trial judge to ” hear all the hearables and see all the seeables”
But counsel to Abubakar, Mr . Rowland Otaru ( SAN) stoutly objected to the plea for adjournment saying the counsel to the first defendant ( PDP) does not need any extra time to study a case which has reached a defence level.
Counsel to the second defendant (Wada) Prof Joash Amupitan SAN while supporting the plea for adjournment told the trial court not to allow anybody to stampede the court in arriving at a decision that is not fair to all the parties saying the principle of Justice and fair hearing is a tripod issue that affects not only the claimant but both the defendant and even the court .
He said since the case was a pre- election matter the court is constitutionally allowed to adjudicate in the matter within 180 days and that the court still has many days at its side and should therefore not allowed it to be rushed in a way that Justice will be miscarried.
After hearing all the parties, the trial judge said nobody can pressurize or stampede him to do anything outside the law saying he has read in social media how some insinuations were made against him and that he remains undaunted because he has made a covenant with God not take bribe from anyone.
According to him” none of you can buy me over, whether it is APC or PDP or anybody. I have made a covenant with my God precisely on May 18, 1999 that if I up turn Justice for any monetary gain or favour, that God should remove me from where I am because my being a judge is by his Mercy”
He therefore adjourned the case to Nov 27 for defence.