Judge threatens couple with arrest warrant over non-appearance in court

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Justice Taiwo Taiwo of a Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja, on Thursday, threatened to issue a warrant of arrest against a couple over their absence in court in a suit filed against them by the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the couple; Winston Odumu-Ojobi and his wife, Patience, are defendants in a charge bordering on a N30-million business transaction.
Justice Taiwo had fixed Thursday for a ruling on a motion filed by the defendants.


However, the judge withheld his ruling, insisting that the defendants must be in court before the ruling would be delivered.
NAN reports that the motion filed by the defendants on Jan. 24, is seeking a transfer of the suit back to the Chief Judge of the FHC, Justice John Tsoho, for re-assignment to another judge in the Abuja division of the court.


The defendants had accused the judge of showing bias in the matter and expressed fears that they might not get justice in his court if the matter was not transferred to another judge.
When the matter was called for ruling on Thursday, the defendants were not in court.
Justice Taiwo, who was unhappy, adjourned the matter until July 29 for ruling.
He, however, threatened to issue a warrant of arrest against the defendants if they failed to appear before him in the next adjourned date.


Efforts by counsel to the defendants, Bola Aidi, to explain the circumstances of their absence in court proved abortive.
Aidi had explained to the court that he received the hearing notice in respect to the ruling on Wednesday by 5pm and was unable to reach the defendants on phone.
In their supporting affidavit to the motion for the transfer of the case, the defendants chronicled some unpleasant events that occurred during their trial before the judge.


In paragraph 16 of their affidavit in support, they highlighted that the judge had, during trial, stated that the evidence of the 1st defendant (Winston Odumu-Ojobi), “are Mills and Boon stories,” among others.(NAN)

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