Judge hands off case on judgement day after Nigerian Army alleged bias

National Industrial Court, Abuja
National Industrial Court, Abuja

A judge of the National Industrial Court, Judith Agbakoba, has recused herself from a matter involving the alleged illegal dismissal of military officers by the Nigerian Army in 2016.

The judge took the decision after a lawyer representing the Nigerian Army and the Chief of Defence staff accused the judge of bias in a petition introduced in court on Monday.

The lawyer, Micheal Owolabi, approached the court with an application at the opening of the session, asking for a stay of execution of the planned judgment, scheduled to be delivered on Monday.

According to Mr Owolabi, the petition from his client challenged a previous decision of the court and required the judge to recuse herself from the matter.

In a short ruling after counsel had argued the two applications, Mrs Agbakoba recused herself from the matter.

The judge said she would hand over the case to the president of the court for reassignment to another judge.

The court had scheduled Monday for judgement in the application brought by a retired major general, Ijeoma Nwokolo, one of over 30 military officers dismissed in 2016.

The case was instituted in 2016, shortly after the dismissal of the affected officers.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the affected officers were dismissed without facing a panel, a requirement necessary for such dismissal.

Details later….

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