Appeal Court President asked to resign over controversial role in alleged murder

980 Call for appeal court's president's resignation

Foremost civil rights organisation in the country, the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has called for immediate resignation of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, over alleged abuse of judicial powers, and interference in the murder trial of one Ojukaye Flag Amachree in Rivers State.

Adressing press men on Tuesday in Lagos, CLO National President, Comrade Igho Akeregha called for urgent intervention of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed over what it described as “political interest by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Bulkachuwa in the matter.

The rights group also faulted a three-man panel of the Appellate Court headed by Hon. Justice Sidi Bage (Lagos Division).

The panel is to hear an appeal by former Council Chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, Ojukaye Flag-Amachree.

Amachree, who is currently remanded in prison custody and awaiting trial, is facing a three-count charge of conspiracy and murder, having been accused of shooting one Smart Soberekon to death in Buguma, the headquarters of Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State during the April 11th, 2015, General Election.

Amachree’s lawyers had earlier filed an appeal before the Court of Appeal in Port-Harcourt to challenge the decision of Justice Margaret Opara of the Rivers State High Court not to grant him bail on health grounds.

The CLO expressed fear that the singular reason for which the President of the Court of Appeal constituted the three-man Appeal Court Panel was to preferentially entertain and grant bail based on an appeal by the accused person, Amachree, who is challenging the ruling of the Rivers State High Court which denied him bail.

The group, however, demanded that the Appeal Court Panel, as appointed by Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, to allegedly grant bail to the said accused person, Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, in this circumstance in Rivers State should be dissolved.”

The group also asked “That Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa be immediately suspended from office and be probed for this iniquitous show of partisan interest in a murder trial, gross abuse of judicial powers.

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