Despite allegations of bias, compromise and abuse of court processes levelled against Justice Augusta Kingsley-Chuku of the Rivers State High Court by the Chokota Community in Igboh-Etche, Etche local government area of the State, the judge has vowed to disregard every rule of jurisprudence and deliver judgement on the matter involving the community and an alleged landgrabber, Abasiubong Udofia.
Recall that the community had in a letter signed by Eze Nkemakolam Nwamuo and Eze Samuel Nwafor, the traditional ruler of the community, implored the Chief Judge and the NJC to “use your good office to transfer the said suit to another Judge so as to ensure neutrality, unbiased, fairness and justice is attained and guaranteed”.
They also prayed the Chief Judge and the NJC to investigate the allegations of bias and Judicial impertinence against Justice A.U Kingsley -Chuku.
They accused the judge of partiality and manifestly vested interest in the matter before her involving the community and Livingstone Estate, adding that she has determined to perpetuate injustice against them by handing over judgement in favour of the alleged landgrabber despite subsisting judgement from a court of competent jurisdiction, the Rivers State customary court.
The community said Mr Udofia and his company, Livingstone Estate engaged in forum shopping and procured the judge and her husband, Kingsley Chuku, who is a senior member of the bar in Rivers State, who used his political connection to prevail on the chief judge of the state to assign the matter to his wife.
The community said that it is why all the petitions to the chief judge to assign the matter to another judge has proved abortive.
However, new facts emerged which showed abuse of court process by Mr Udofia as the same matter being entertained by Justice Chuku was earlier filed by the same Udofia at the High Court in Okehi, Etche.
According to the court documents, Mr Udofia after some weeks, abandoned the suit at Okehi and filed the same suit before justice Chuku, which the community said was a convenient forum to do the hatchet job of the alleged landgrabber.
Court documents obtained by theportcitynews show that the suit at Okehi was also filed by the same lawyer representing Mr Udofia at Justice Chuku’s court and was heard yesterday, the 9th of February, and adjourned to March 23, 2021, for continuation.
The community said that despite bringing it to her knowledge that the same matter is still pending at Okehi High Court, the judge is bent on doing the bidding of Mr Udofia.
They further accused her of horridly giving only two days for final written addresses before her scheduled ruling on Friday, the 12th of February, 2021.
According to them, Justice Chuku has demonstrated vested interest and has also held on to the case file despite several petitions to the chief judge and the NJC for her to recuse herself from the suit.