The Abdulrasheed Maina family has urged President of Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho to reassign the FGN vs Faisal Abdulrasheed Maina case before Federal High Court 6 in Abuja, to another judge, noting that it has lost confidence in Justice Okon Abang.
The family in a statement signed by its spokesman, Usman Abdullahi, on Thursday, said its action was consequence of an application written by the counsel to Faisal Abdulrasheed Maina, son of the former pension boss, in case No. PHC/CR/261/2019 seeking for the case to be reassigned, noting that their son may not get justice and fairness in Federal High Court 6.
“Following an application written by the counsel representing Faisal Abdulrasheed Maina, son of the former Pension boss in case No. PHC/CR/261/2019 seeking the Chief Judge, Justice John Tsoho to transfer the case to another Judge, we wish to reiterate that we the family of Maina have lost total confidence in the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang of court 6 of the Federal High Court.”
“According to the family, “this action is necessitated by the fact that it is clear from his body language and actions that fairness and justice will not be done to Maina and his fundament rights may be truncated as a result.
“In his response to the application, as informed by anonymous source, the presiding judge has made effort to deny that he had exhibited acts that displayed his stance about Maina by accusing him of ulterior motive saying ‘it is just forum shopping to see if the matter could be assigned to a judge he believes he can guide and control’.
“We consider this as offensive and outrightly debunk the claim by the High Court judge. We insist that he had exhibited a rather unconventional method in addressing Maina’s father who was present at the court with malice and displeasure on 25/10/2019. He warned Maina’s father not to look at him which was a clear outburst of personal sentiment against Maina, the defendant in a case he is presiding over.
“This has clearly threatened Maina and his team that they feel they have been found guilty even before the trial ended and it is only psychological and natural to feel there will not be fairness from a judge whose body language says where he belongs.
“We call on the Chief Judge to note the response of Justice Abang as he peruses through his response that he was on the defensive trying to deny what he did and at the same time on the offensive against the person of Maina, who he accused of having an ulterior motive, instead of providing legal technicalities that might justify his actions.
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“The ethical provisions of judicial practice require that a presiding judge remains fair and just to all parties and all manners of people standing trial before him. Definitely in event of loss of display of sentiment or emotions towards a particular party in a case, the confidence that justice and fairness would be done is lost.
“As a stakeholder of justice and fairness, we are confident that the Chief Judge will certainly consider the need for not only justice to be done to all manner of people but to also be seen to have been done, hence the need to move Maina’s case to a neutral judge in the High Court,” the Maina Family said.