Federal High Court judges shun courts to protest arrest of colleagues

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PostBiafranspalace on Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:15 am

Judges of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday boycotted sittings in solidarity with one of their colleagues arrested by the Department of State Services‎, DSS.

One of the judges arrested during last Saturday’s raid by the DSS is Justice Adeniyi Ademola, who sits in Court 7 of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Major cases affected involve the former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, former Imo State governor, Ikedi Ohakim and the case filed against the House of Representatives by Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited (Shell), The Nation reports.

Ohakim is being tried before Justice Ademola on a three-count charge of money laundering and false asset declaration.

He is accused by the EFCC of purchasing a property at 60, Kwame Nkrumah Street, Plot No 1098, Cadastral Zone A04, Asokoro District, Abuja with cash payment of $2.29 which was said to be dollar equivalent of N270m in November 2008.

He was to open his defence Monday, but for absence of the trial judge. No date is fixed yet for the case.

Badeh and a company, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited are being tried before Justice Okon Abang for allegedly diverting about N1.4billion belonging to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) between January and December, 2013, an offence which contravenes Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

Trial was expected to continue Monday.

Shell is challenging the jurisdiction of the House of Reps to investigate the process leading to the allocation of oil wells to it.

Shell contends in the suit: FHC/ABJ/CS/443/2016, that the planned investigation was subjudice as a similar case filed earlier by Malabo Oil was still pending before the court.

Hearing was to open in the case Monday before Justice Abang.

Meanwhile, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, has expressed sadness at the arrest of the senior judicial officers.


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