The Chief Judge of Lagos State has recalled the file of the case between federal government versus Innocent Chukwuma, from Hon. Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos High Court.
The recall was based on a letter by counsel to Chief Chukwuma, G.N. Uwechue, SAN, to the National Judicial Council (NJC).
Cornel Osigwe, head of Corporate Communications, Innoson Group, in a statement said Chief Uwechue had on June 21, 2018 written to the Chief Judge of Lagos State, requesting the withdrawal of the case file from the judge and for the re-assignment of same to another Judge based on a directive by the National Judicial Council that the case file be returned to the Chief Judge for reassignment to another Judge.
On 12th Feb, 2018, a petition was written to the chairman, National Judicial Council and the Chief Justice of Nigeria requesting it to investigate the circumstances leading to Justice Dada issuing a bench warrant against him and ordering his arrest.
In response, the National Judicial Council requested the Chief Judge of Lagos State to recall the case file from Justice Dada’s court for reassignment to another judge.
Justice Dada had on 9th Feb 2018 issued a bench warrant against Chief Chukwuma because of his failure to appear for arraignment on the said date.
However, counsel to Chief Chukwuma, Prof McCarthy Mbadugha, repeatedly informed the Judge that Chief Chukwuma was never served with the information and therefore couldn’t have appeared before the court and that the prosecuting counsel confirmed to the court on the proceedings of 9th February, 2018 that the prosecution has not served Chief Chukwuma, yet the trial court issued a Bench Warrant against him and as well ordered for his arrest.
He called the attention of the Judge to the notice of pendency dated the 31st day of January 2018 and filed in the court’s registry of pending applications at the Court of Appeal to stay commencement of proceedings in the charge and to as well stay the execution or giving effect to the Court’s order of 17th January, 2018 that Chief Chukwuma be served through his counsel in the open court.