Justice Walter Onoghen, CJN
A Child Rights Activist, Comrade Ighorhiohwunu Aghogho today petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice,CJN, Justice Walter Onoghen as well as the National Judicial Council, NJC over alleged unethical and unprofessional conduct of the President of the Delta State Customary Court of Appeal, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Stella Oghene.
The Petition is contained in a copy obtained by Daily Watch in Warri.
In the petition said the matter between him and one Engr. Odeseneka Gabriel in Suit Number:EEACCII/22/2015 in Suit No:EEACCII/22/2015 bothers on
landlord and tenant case which has been pending in the Customary Court of Appeal in Ethiope East Local Government Area since 2014.
In the petition, Aghogho accused the Court Registrar, E.A Okotie of allegedly extorting him
Aghogho said if he refuses the moves by the Court Registrar will deny him record of proceedings
“The Registrar of the Court ,E.A Okotie receives letters/application without acknowledgement amongst others.”
Aghogho claimed that there has been reign of terror, conspiracy to Promote a Continuous likelihood Of bias, Impunity, frame up, intimidation, egregious And Hostile Treatment between him and the plaintiff in order to deny him the right to fair hearing at all cost and to favor the Plaintiff in the said case.
Aghogho said during the pendency of the case in the said court, the following reign of terror, and conspiracy to promote a Continuous likelihood of Bias, Impunity, frame Up, Intimidation, Egregious and hostile treatment of the Defendant occurred.
“On 18/10/17 when the case came up for hearing, the court refused him witnesses in the said case who have been coming to court for more than five occasions on the Order of the court from testifying in the said case for no just cause.
” The Court is fond of writing down what he did not say and if he protests by complaining that “I didn’t say that”, the court will threaten him with the Police as if he is a criminal.”
Aghogho said the court keeps mum whenever the Plaintiff is fighting with his witnesses in court.
“That on 14/9/2017, the court conspired with Plaintiff counsel one Barr. E.J EFE to invade the Defendant’s institution, stole his documents and unlawfully photographed his premises by ordering the Plaintiff counsel not to move an application filed 5/9/17 which was fixed for hearing on 14/9/17 containing exhibit which is a prima facie evidence that the said Bar. E.J.Efe unlawfully invaded his institution which is contained in the application that has not been moved till date.
“That on daily basis, during the hearing of the said case in court, the said Barr.E.J.Efe bathed the Defendant with insults ,abuses right inside the said court until it became unbearable and the Defendant have to petitioned the chairman ,Nigerian Bar Association, Warri Branch on the unethical conduct of the legal Practitioner.
“That the preliminary objection filed and raised by the Defendant was addressed suo motu by the court even when the plaintiff counsels is around.
Aghogho said the issues and others raised were contained in the petition to President of the Delta State Customary Court of Appeal, His Lordship ,Hon. Justice Stella Oghene and the Delta state Judicial Service Commission under the chairmanship of the chief Judge of Delta State, Justice Marshal Mukoro dated 14/12/2017 respectively.
He stressed that the petitions were not investigated till date pointing out that the case was transferred to the Ethiope East Area Customary Court I, Isiokolo with a new suit number EEACCI/6T/2018 and hearing began denovo on 14/3/18.
“That on during the Pendency of the case at the Ethiope East Area Customary Court I, Isiokolo,the Plaintiff in connivance with his new counsel ESE GAMS OWE ESQ invaded the Defendant institution on 2/5/18 with armed men again.
“That when the incident was reported to the DPO Abraka Police station, the DPO deny sending such armed men to the said institution.
“That on 4/5/18, when the matter came up for hearing, the said Plaintiff counsel was harassing the court and mounting unnecessary pressure on the court to grant a frivolous Exparte application filed and dated 4/5/18 seeking an Interlocutory Injunction restraining the Defendant from entering his own residence even when the Defendant was in court but the court bluntly refused and refer the case to the President of the Delta State Customary Court of Appeal for reassignment.
“That it was upon this premise that President of the Delta State Customary Court of Appeal, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Stella Oghene reassigned the said case to the same court at Abraka where the Petition originated from.
“That the attention of the Delta State Customary Court of Appeal, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Stella Oghene has been drawn to this unscrupulous practice through the office of the Director of Court but all has fallen on deaf ear.
“That on 16/7/18, the bailiff of the Ethiope East Area Customary Court II Abraka served a hearing notice on the Defendant with the foremost suit number (EEACCII/22/15) connoting that the case is not a fresh case but beginning from where it stopped before it was transferred to the Ethiope East Area Customary Court I, Isiokolo.
“That there is a grand ploy to further perpetuate reign of terror, conspiracy to Promote a Continuous Likelihood Of Bias, Impunity, Frame Up, Intimidation, Egregious And Hostile Treatment Of The Defendant on 18/7/18 when the case will come up for hearing.
“That the court is fond of harassing and intimidating the Defendant with Abraka Police even when the Defendant has proved the allegation of conspiracy by the court and stealing by the said Barr. E.J.Eje.”
In the petition deposed to before the Federal High Court, Asaba, Aghogho is asking the Court to whether he is not entitled to fair hearing by President of the Delta State Customary Court of Appeal, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Stella Oghene?
“Whether the President of the Ethiope East Area Customary Court II Abraka, O.D Okeakanam Esq can sit over a case where a petition has been instituted against him, accusing him of likelihood of bias Impunity, Frame Up, Intimidation, Egregious and Hostile Treatment of the Defendant?
“Whether the conduct of the President of the Delta State Customary Court of Appeal, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Stella Oghene of reassigning the said case back to the President of the Ethiope East Area Customary Court II Abraka,O.D Okeakanam without investigating him on glaring allegations contained in a Petition dated 14/12/17 which is before him does not amount to unethical and unprofessional misconduct?
“Based on the foregoing and having heard of the antecedent of the National Judicial Council (NJC), I sincerely appeal to my Lordship to prevail on the President of the Delta State Customary Court of Appeal, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Stella Oghene to transfer the said case to an impartial court within Delta Central Senatorial District and quickly nip this ugly situation in the bud and forestall any breakdown of law and Order in the Delta State Judiciary