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Obio/Akpor Legal Tussel: RIVLEAF Alleges Bribery

HON. TIMOTHY NSIRIMAs the legal battle between the suspended Obio/Akpor Local Government Council Chairman, Hon. Timothy Nsirim and the Governor of Rivers State and others continue to generate tension and anxiety, the Rivers Leadership Advancement Foundation (RIVLEAF), Obio/Akpor chapter has raised an alarm over what it calls a foul-play, bribery and the lack of due process in handling the case before the presiding judge.

The foundation chairman, RIVLEAF Obio/Akpor chapter, Mr. Rejoice Weli in a press briefing at Pixy Hotels, Orazi, Port Harcourt over the weekend alleged misconduct, legal mistakes, compromise in the said case.

The RIVLEAF chapter chairman said the suit filed by Hon. Nsirim against the Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi challenging his removal from office is being compromised by Hon Justice I. A. Iyayi Lamikanra in suit No PHC 1876/2013 because of lack of due process which led to several contradictions.

Mr. Weli stated that the Obio/Akpor people are not happy with the judge because she is neglecting fundamental court procedure in handling the matter. They alleged that money has been exchanged between the claimant and the judge, Justice I.A. Iyayi Lamkanra.

The group said due to the alleged financial inducement a lot of court processes have been abused and compromised by the judge.

RIVLEAF chapter chairman alleged that the sum of 100 thousand dollars have been given to prosecute the case in favour of Hon. Timothy Nsirim the suspended council chairman.

He said the case of bribery and the intention to pervert justice by the Judge has already been petitioned to the National Judicial Council (NJC) against Justice A.A. Iyayi Lamikanra of the High Court, Port Harcourt.

RIVLEAF Obio/Akpor chapter stated that there is motion before the court on question of jurisdiction to entertain the suits, they said there is a closeness and the relationship between the former chief judge, Justice Iche Ndu (rtd) and Justice I. A. Iyayi which call for proper investigation.

Explaining further the National President RIVLEAF, Hon. Alex Weli who is also from Obio/Akpor LGA stated earlier that the defendant has asked the judge to disqualify herself from the pending case because of some obvious reasons of bias which she declined.  Hon Alex said the case is before an Appeal Court, Justice Iyayi-Lamkikanra has said she will give judgment on the matter on14th November 2013, but reserved ruling on stay of proceeding on 15th November, 2013 which is a legal contradiction even as both parties have only appeared once before her lordship.

Another issue for public scrutiny is why will retired Justice Iche Ndu re-assigned the case to Justice I.A. Iyayi three days to his retirement? Sources claimed that his ability to properly and fairly treat this matter on point of law might not be unconnected to why the Governor refused to honour his retirement ceremony, as this case was before Justice Iragunima before the sudden re-assignment, and no reason was given for the re-assignment.

Hon. Weli said defendants have graciously demanded that Justice I.A. Iyaye Lamikanra should disqualify herself from hearing the case on the ground of likelihood of bias against the defendants in favour of the claimants, secondly, the non flaring of a counter affidavit on any motion before her give rooms for suspicious. The challenge on the application to set aside the order of substituted service is still pending before the court.

RIVLEAF further stated that they were shocked to note that there is no counter affidavit or of further proceedings pending the hearing and determination of the Court of Appeal which give doubt on the matter before the justice.

It is also noted that transfer of matters is governed by Order 37 Rule 1 High Court Rules which the court must respect.###

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