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Lawyers to Odinkalu, Osori accuse judge of bias

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The former head of National Human Rights Commission, Chidi Odinkalu and Ayisha Osori, has said he is yet to receive the “report of the judgment” founding him guilty of libel.

Their lawyers, TAP Legal, also accused the judge in the case between his and former governor of Rivers State of bias.

“We had in the course of proceedings filed a petition against the presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Augustina Kingsley-Chuku, before the National Judicial Council (NJC) for manifest acts of bias in clear breach of the Judicial Code of Conduct & violation of basic constitutional guarantees of due process, which made impossible a fair representation of the interests of our clients in the proceedings,” Odinkalu’s lawyers said.

“Every effort to bring these breaches to the attention of the court was frustrated.”

The lawyers also claimed that there “are appeals pending before the Court of Appeal against several rulings of the court, including its claim of jurisdiction.”

“There is also pending before the National Judicial Council, a complaint of judicial misconduct in connection with the proceedings in this case.”

The accusations came after a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt awarded the sum of two hundred and fifty Million Naira as damages in favour of former Governor of the state, Dr Peter Odili, against Odinkalu and Osori.

The Court also awarded the sum of three hundred thousand Naira as cost of court process against Odinkalu and Osori.

The judge, Justice Augustina Kingsley-Chuku, ruled that Odinkalu published a libellous, malicious and defamatory book against the former Rivers State Governor.

The judge also restrained the defendants from further publication of the book and ordered that they should retract the publication in two national dailies.

Odinkalu and Osori’s lawyers said they are challenging the rulings on his behalf.

“Our clients have instructed counsel to vigorously pursue legal remedies on his behalf, including appeals. They intend to do just that in faith that the Nigerian judicial system is eminently well equipped to correct every travesty.


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