The immediate past chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Chidi Odinkalu, has stated that Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court Abuja knows the spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, as a former classmate.
Mr. Metuh, who is facing trial over corruption charges in the court sitting under Mr. Abang, had written to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Ibrahim Auta, demanding that the case be withdrawn from Mr. Abang and assigned to another judge.
Mr. Metuh’s grounds were that Mr. Abang and he were classmates at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos. He also said he feared he might not get fair trial from Mr. Abang because of some views expressed by the Judge when they met at a function in Akwa Ibom State last year.
In reaction, Justice Abang, on Thursday, said he was not aware Mr. Metuh was his classmate.
“I am not aware that the first defendant was my classmate, he said he is my classmate,” the judge said.
However, checks by PREMIUM TIMES revealed that Messrs. Abang and Metuh graduated on the same day, November 3, 1988 from the law school.
In a short reaction to our story on Sunday, Mr. Odinkalu said Mr. Abang “surely knows that he and Olisa went to school together.”
The former human rights chief said he was also in the same class with Messrs. Metuh and Abang as well as some other prominent Nigerians.
“We were all in the same law school set in 1988. We were all admitted to the Bar same day on 3 Nov 1988.
“Fashola, Anyim, Godswill Akpabio, Liyel Imoke, Nnia Nwodo all were in that set.
“I know Olisa and Abang have been together at more than two class reunions. In Lagos, Uyo. Someone isn’t being totally candid,” Mr. Odinkalu said.