The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has demanded the investigation of Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja, for alleged judicial misconduct.
Mr. Kanu, who is facing trial following allegations of treasonable felony, maintaining an unlawful society and possession of illegal items, accused his trial judge, Mr. Tsoho, of negating judicial principles and upturning a decision of the court without prior permission by a higher court.
In a petition addressed to the National Judicial Council and made available to journalists on Sunday, Mr. Kanu said the conduct of Mr. Tsoho amounts to judicial rascality.
According the petition, Mr. Tshoho changed his court’s decision to hear the testimonies of witnesses secretly after he had initially ruled that witnesses testifying in the matter would not be allowed to were masks or give statements in secret.
“On the 9th day of February, 2016, the defense was ambushed with an application filed on that day by the prosecution, seeking the court’s endorsement for secret trial of the defendants.
“The defense led by chief Chuks Muoma, SAN, promptly notified the court of our intention to oppose the application, pursuant to which it was thereafter adjourned to the 19th day of February, 2016, for the hearing of the application,” the petition said.
Recounting the past records of the case, Mr. Kanu’s lawyer and junior counsel to Mr. Muoma, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, said the court presided over by Justice Tsoho gave a ruling on the next adjourned date in favour of the defence; but ordered a parallel decision when the prosecution insisted on having its witnesses protected.
He added that the court gave its second decision regarding the protection of witnesses, after a verbal request was made by the witness; an act which Mr. Ejiofor claims is in negation of laid down rules.
He further accused the judge of refusing his client access to proceedings of the court, until a petition was written to the chief judge.
“The rulings (of the court) were eventually given to us on Monday, the 25th day of April, 2016, barely two months and fifteen days after the ruling of 9th February, 2016, was delivered, two months and six days after the ruling of 19th day of February, 2016 was delivered and one month and 18 days after the ruling of 7th March, 2016 was delivered,” said Mr. Ejiofor.
He therefore asked the cuncil to investigate the alleged infractions and act accordingly.
Mr. Kanu had made a vote of no confidence on another judge of the same court, forcing the judge to hands off on the matter.
He is facing trial alongside two others: Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwauwisi.