Against speculations that Justice S. M. Shuaibu has been stopped from hearing the alleged tax forgery case against Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, has said that the judge should continue and conclude the matter.
Consequently, Justice Auta has directed Justice Shuaibu to return to Owerri and continue with the suit instituted by a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain and the party’s governorship aspirant in the last election, Chief Friday Nwosu, who is accusing Governor Ikpeazu of submitting fake tax certificate to Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The speculation that Justice Shuaibu was stopped from handling the matter was fuelled by an alleged statement by the governor’s lawyer to the effect that with the Supreme Court judgment in favour of Ikpeazu, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court has allegedly stopped Shuaibu from going ahead with the matter. The speculation prompted Nwosu to petition the Chief Judge seeking clarification on the issue.
The Chief Judge was said to have denied giving such directive, and directed that the case be continued and concluded. Nwosu, in the petition, was said to have claimed that the defendants made careless public announcements and statements which could malign the reputation and integrity of the office and person of the Chief Judge.
Meanwhile, the matter will come up next Friday, April 28, at the Owerri Division of the court, and not in Abuja. (Vanguard)