All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has said it petitioned five serving judges of the Rivers State Judiciary to the National Judicial Council (NJC) over alleged unwarranted court orders.
The party, which listed the judges to include Justice Opufa Ben-Whyte, Justice Okogbule Gbasam, Justice Chiwendu Wogu, Justice Fiberesima and one unnamed judge, accused them of being used to issue “black market” injunctions against it by desperate politicians in the state.
APC spokesman in the state, Ogbonna Nwuke, in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP in Port Harcourt yesterday, further accused the judges of debasing the integrity of the Rivers State Judiciary.
Nwuke stated that the actions of these judges had largely contributed to the wrong impression across the country that the Rivers Judiciary had become a notorious trading post where judicial decisions are bought and sold.
The statement reads in part: “We had earlier promised that we would release the names of judges who are toying with the law and incessantly betraying the oath of office that they swore to uphold.
“These judges appointed by the present administration, who in many instances have allowed themselves to descend into the arena of justice, are Justice Opufa Ben-Whyte, Justice Okogbule Gbasam, Justice Chiwendu Wogu, Justice Fiberesima and one other.
“Accordingly, the APC has petitioned these judges who are young on the Bench, but who appear to be acting a script, to the NJC. We urge the NJC to invite these judges for questioning without any further delay.
“We are not the only state in the federation which has inscribed clauses on injunctions in its statute books. To the best of our knowledge judges have been repeatedly advised by higher authorities to exercise discretion in issuing such interim orders.
“We are dismayed that the heads of courts in some states, including that of Rivers State, have been summoned as a result of the activities of such judges. These judges are truly the ones who should have been invited to face the NJC.
“Against this backdrop, we urge the NJC which is appalled by the conduct of some judges across the land to invite these justices in Rivers State to answer for their infamous deeds.