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Counsel urges judge to hands-off N5.2b suit against CBN, others

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Citing lack of confidence as well as hurried approach adopted in the conduct of a N5.2 billion suit filed by Dr. Ted Iseghohi Edwards against the CBN and five others, the defence counsel has asked Justice V. B. Ashi of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory to hand off the matter.

The defence led by Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN) in a motion filed on Friday May 15, 2015 is seeking an order of court transferring the suit marked No. FCT/HC/CV/939/15 to the Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory for re assignment to another judge in the Abuja Division of the High Court.

In the motion dated May 15 and filed the same day, a copy of which was secured by The Guardian yesterday, Chief Idigbe queried the quick pace and hurried approach adopted by the court in the conduct of the suit and determination of the various applications filed in the matter as evidenced in the short adjournments often sought by the Plaintiff and granted by the court.

The motion brought pursuant to Order 32 Rule 1 of the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2004 was supported by an affidavit deposed to by Eric Otojah, a legal practitioner in the firm of Punuka Attorneys and Solicitors.

Apart from the application for transfer, the defence is also seeking for an order staying the ruling/judgment of the Court to be delivered today, May 18, 2015, pending the determination of the Motion On Notice for Transfer of the suit and pending the appeal filed at the Court of Appeal, Abuja.

The applicant also want an order staying further proceedings in the suit pending the hearing and determination of the 6th Defendant’s Appeal to the Court of Appeal against the order/ruling of this Honourable Court delivered May 14, 2015.

Also in the appeal filed on Friday, the applicant is seeking the setting aside of the order of the court on the ground that, the learned trial Judge erred in law when he refused to rule on the 1st Respondent’s (CBN) application for amendment and held that the ruling shall be made together with the substantive suit.

The motion on transfer was premised on what the defence counsel called observed proceedings that the Court adopted a quick and hurried approach in the determination of the various applications filed in the Court.

The applicant also queried the Judge’s stand that he will not first of all rule on the various preliminary objections filed by the respective Defendants notwithstanding series of applications and appeal to him to first of all determine the issue of jurisdiction raised in the respective preliminary objections.

The applicant further queried Justice Ashi’s insistence that all applications including the preliminary objections be taken and ruling/judgment be delivered alongside the substantive suit despite spirited application and appeal to the Judge to vary his stand.


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