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Edo 2020 gov’ship election: NCP petitions National Judicial Council over judge’s conduct

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The last might not have been heard of the Edo State governorship election held in September 2020. Mr Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP]was declared winner of the election. One of the parties that contested in the election, National Conscience Party [NCP] which fielded Pastor Peters Osawaru Omoragbon as its governorship candidate has petitioned the National Judicial Council [NJC] and the National Electoral Commission[INEC] over the party’s disaffection on how its petition on the polls was handled by one of the judges that handled their case, Hon.

Justice Liman.

The governorship candidate of NCP, in Edo State elections in 2016 and 2020, Pastor Osawaru Omoragbon, said he has petitioned Justice Liman of the Federal High Court Kano Division, formerly of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division. The petition, according to him, is over what he called misconduct and dereliction of duty by the Honourable Justice of the Federal High Court. The content of his earlier release to the media read: “A case of misconduct and dereliction of duty against Honourable Justice M. Liman of the Federal High Court, Kano Division (formerly of the Federal High Court, Lagos Division) dated January 3rd, 2022 by Pastor Peters Omoragbon, Gubernatorial Candidate of the National Conscience Party at the 2020 Edo State Governorship Elections.”Omoragbon disclosed what transpired saying: “The National Conscience Party instituted an Independent legal dispute against INEC and the AG of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 5, 2020, through Originating Summons with an Affidavit of Urgency.

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“This case was not heard until October 13, 2020, where all the parties adopted their written submissions and judgement reserved till December 18, 2020. Even though the bureaucratic bottlenecks constituted a stumbling block to my aspiration as governor in the Edo State Elections, I was very hopeful that no matter the undue delay, justice would eventually be served.

He added:“It must be recalled that prior to the Edo State Governorship elections in 2020, INEC had ignominiously deregistered some political parties including the NCP. This led to a series of legal disputes against the INEC and judgement awarded against INEC, some of which are pending rulings at the Supreme Court.”

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He noted with regret that as at this first week of the new year 2022, the ruling that was to be given on December 18, 2020, was yet to be delivered by Justice M. Liman.

Omoragbo maintained that Justice Liman’s action was a deliberate act of dereliction of duty.

He said: “I am constrained by circumstances beyond my control to call this press conference over the deliberate act of dereliction of duty by Honourable Justice M. Liman over the legal dispute instituted by our Party, the National Conscience Party against INEC and the Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In the hith cour o Lagos State; Lagos Judicial Division.

The affidavit against Justice M. Liman is dated 22ND day of of December , 2021

By Marcus Eyarhono, Esq., a Legal Practitioner of Sui Generis of No. 88/92 (Banuso House), Opposite Wema Bank, By Tinubu Square, Broad Street, Lagos Island, Lagos. He stated among others that;

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He is the plaintiffs’ counsel in” suit No. FHC/L/CS/544/2020 (National Conscience Party & Another V. Attorney General of the Federation & Another).

“That the facts stated in my Complaint of Misconduct against Honourable Justice M. Liman and dated the 22nd day of December, 2021 are within my personal knowledge,and they are true and correct.

“It was in the light of this abuse of office that I directed my Legal Team led by Barrister Marcus Eyarhono Esq to formally petition Justice M. Liman to the National Judicial Council for his dereliction of duty.”

“Every day, Nigeria is made a laughingstock by other nations of the world by our lack of transparency and corruption in high places. Whose interest is being served by the inaction of Justice M. Liman if not that of INEC and by extension the Attorney General of the Federation? When will the Nigerian judiciary be separated from the executive branch?” querried the governorship candidate.

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