Lawyer and Political analyst, Charles Omole has said the judgement of the Supreme Court that nullified the sentence handed to Former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu is correct.
He said in a series of tweets on his official twitter handle.
Omole who’s also a security analyst said the President of the Court of Appeal shouldn’t have allowed a judge that has been promoted to the appeal court entertain a case at High Court.
According to him, blame here in my view is with the CoA who allowed a CoA Judge to sit on a High Court Case. That should never have been allowed.
See his tweets below…
The verdict of the Supreme Court (SC) in this case is technical but correct. It was a foreseeable verdict; which begs the question why the President of the Court of Appeal allowed this to go ahead in the first place. It is also a lesson about the folly of allowing cases to drag on for many yrs
The Judge hearing the case was promoted to the Court of Appeal (CoA) while d case was ongoing. Usual practice is for another judge of the High court to take over the case. But the guideline from the President CoA allows judges to keep on to part-heard cases in certain circumstances.
So the Judge kept on to the case after his promotion to CoA. But this creates a Problem. When he swore on Oath at the CoA; that vacates his Oath at the High Court as a Judge cannot sit in two court of different ranking simultaneously.
He therefore (as a Judge of CoA) lack jurisdiction to sit over a High Court case. Supreme Court merely affirmed d Constitution which states d various ranking of our courts. So, why was this not foreseen by EFCC & d management of the CoA? Was this deliberate Tanking of the case?
We may never know. A new trial is next to impossible in this case. It has taken over a decade. Witnesses may have died. Evidence may have been lost etc. So Kalu is home and dry on this matter technically speaking. He will never face justice on this matter again in my view.
Blame here in my view is with the CoA who allowed a CoA Judge to sit on a High Court Case. That should never have been allowed. This verdict may also bring into question any other verdicts given in similar circumstances in d past. It seems d law has been defeated thru lawful means
This is another display of shame by the Judiciary in Nigeria who has not clothed itself in glory these past few years with its mistakes & questionable practices & verdicts. But d SC is correct on this occasion and Kalu has dodged a bullet & is home free. Nigeria is d ultimate loser.
I appreciate that the President of the CoA may have acted based on ACJA provisions. But the SC voided that action as it is inconsistent with the Constitution. The whole mess need to be tidied up.