Thursday 29 September, 2016
‘’We agree with the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) that a panel of judges or indeed a court that fails to follow its own rule is RECKLESS and it is the duty of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to find out why the judges engage in such anomaly’’ –NJC, September 2016.
Justice John Tsoho, the judge that was assigned by the Federal High Court to preside over Nnamdi Kanu’s (the leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra) case on 25th January 2016, must have been enjoying a smooth ride with his unethical legal practice; howbeit, Nnamdi Kanu’s case brought to the limelight, his ignoble practices and threatens to further ensure his sack as a legal practitioner.
Firstly, having in mind that Nnamdi Kanu has been granted bail by a Magistrate Court on 19th October 2015 and has also been ordered to be released ‘unconditionally’ by the Federal High Court on 17th December 2015 by Justice Adeniyi Ademola; it was aberrant of Tsoho to disregard former court orders and continue the hearing from both counsels on the same case.
Read also:BIAFRA: EXPLOSIVE! WHY JOHN TSOHO PULLED OUT OF NNAMDI KANU’S TRIAL— Kanu's Lawyer Barr. Ejiofor
Further on this, on 19th February 2016, the federal government prayed the court to allow its witness wear mask during Kanu’s trail. This was turned down by Tsoho who expressed that ‘’the demeanor of a witness is important in helping the court decide if he is a witness of truth or otherwise,’’ emphasizing that ‘’the state has all of the resources to ensure that the witnesses in the suit are protected.’’
To the bewilderment of all concerned, on 7th March 2016, Justice Tsoho ruled against his pronouncements on February 19th 2016 which barred the federal government’s witnesses from testifying behind masks. This became the peak of Tsoho’s abuse of judicial process and bias in Nnamdi Kanu’s case, which the NJC has termed a ‘’RECKLESS’’ deed.
For these bias moves and more, Kanu’s defence team petitioned Justice Tsoho at the NJC to be probed, and if found guilty, convicted of these crimes.
Read also:BIAFRA: NIGERIAN JUDICIARY DRAGGED TO THE MUD AS NNAMDI KANU'S DEFENCE TEAM MUSCLES JUSTICE TSOHO OUT OF CASE.
In response to the petition, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) charged that judges who give conflicting judgments must be probed. In his words, ‘’such departures from precedent therefore risk creating the type of confusion which is inimical to the trust reposed in us by the people and we risk our reputations, our integrity and even our existence by such indiscipline.’’
The CJN further noted that ‘’it is in the overall interest of the judiciary that those who engage in the abuses we witnessed recently are made to ACCOUNT.’’ Insisting that ‘’any judge that will allow his emotions to becloud the established standard of judicial precedence needs to be checkmated.’’
Read also:BIAFRA: JUSTICE TSOHO SHOULD NOT ONLY STEP DOWN FROM KANU'S CASE, BUT MUST ALSO RESIGN OR BE SACKED WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT
NJC warned that ‘’with corruption ravaging the country, to allow judges to also disregard clear judicial standards in arriving at their judgments is to compound an already dangerous development and that is an invitation to anarchy.’’
With these above utterances from both CJN and NJC, Tsoho, on 26th September 2016, jittered out of Nnamdi Kanu’s case even before Kanu could arrive at the court. He hurriedly disqualified himself on the grounds that the defence counsels had no confidence on him.
Note: This was not the first time Kanu’s defence team questioned Tsoho’s competence; it was not the first time Tsoho was accused of bias; it was not the first time the defence counsel had prayed that their case should be reassigned to a competent judge –Kanu’s defence team had done this first on 26th April 2016, on 25th May 2016 and on 20th June 2016.
Read also:BIAFRA: FORCEFUL WITHDRAWAL OF CORRUPT JOHN TSOHO FROM KANU'S CASE, A CUE FOR NEW JUDGE TO TREAD THE PATH OF JUSTICE.
CJN and NJC’s notes of warning were the sole factor that informed Tsoho’s resignation from Nnamdi Kanu’s case on 26th September 2016. Tsoho could not hide his uneasiness in the court as he grumbled, ‘’even if I am cleared of any bias by the NJC, I will not continue with this case.’’
To this end, the Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB, wishes to belabor the point that Justice Tsoho’s resignation from Kanu’s case has not and will not negate the petition filed against him.
Though Kanu be released and Biafra be restored tonight, -IPOB under the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu will never give up in our quest for justice. Tsoho must serve as a deterrent to any corrupt judge that intends to ridicule judicial process in Tsoho’s manner. Tsoho must be sacked from legal practice if the judiciary system intends to be redeemed of the already damaged image and battered reputation.
Written By Chinedu Ewulu
Published By Nwosu C.S
For Biafra Writers.