IPOB’s leader Nnamdi Kanu has accused his trial judge, Justice John Tsoho of judicial rascality, and has called for a probe of the Abuja Federal High Court judge.
This is the second judge the secessionist leader is indicting of judicial misconduct.
Kanu, who is facing trial for alleged treasonable felony, maintaining an unlawful society and possession of illegal items, petitioned the National Judicial Council on Sunday.
He said Tsoho negated judicial principles by upturning a decision of the court without prior permission by a higher court.
According the petition, the judge changed his court’s decision to hear the testimonies of witnesses secretly after he had initially ruled that witnesses testifying in the matter would not be allowed to wear masks or give statements in secret.
“On the 9th day of February, 2016, the defense was ambushed with an application filed on that day by the prosecution, seeking the court’s endorsement for secret trial of the defendants.
“The defense led by chief Chuks Muoma, SAN, promptly notified the court of our intention to oppose the application, pursuant to which it was thereafter adjourned to the 19th day of February, 2016, for the hearing of the application,” the petition said.
Explaining the past records of the case, Kanu’s lawyer and junior counsel to Muoma, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, said the court presided over by Justice Tsoho gave a ruling on the next adjourned date in favour of the defence; but ordered a parallel decision when the prosecution insisted on having its witnesses protected.
According to him, the court gave its second decision on the protection of witnesses, after a verbal request was made by the witness; an act which Ejiofor claims is in negation of laid down rules.
He also accused the judge of refusing his client access to proceedings of the court, until a petition was written to the chief judge.
“The rulings (of the court) were eventually given to us on Monday, the 25th day of April, 2016, barely two months and fifteen days after the ruling of 9th February, 2016, was delivered, two months and six days after the ruling of 19th day of February, 2016 was delivered and one month and 18 days after the ruling of 7th March, 2016 was delivered.”
Kanu had passed a vote of no confidence on another judge of the same court, forcing the judge to step down on the matter.