The trial of Rivers State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, was stalled at the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday due to the absence of his counsel, Mr Ferdinand Orbih, in court.
When the matter was called, Mr Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), who announced appearance holding the brief of Orbih, asked for a short adjournment to enable Orbih to handle the matter himself.
Ukala told the court that Orbih was absent in court because he was before the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, in a matter that was adjourned from Tuesday until Wednesday.
Mr Wale Ajayi, counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission, did not oppose the request for adjournment.
The plaintiff’s counsel, Mr Achinike William-Wobodo, also did not oppose the application for an adjournment.
He, however, told the court that his client, Mr Elvis Chinda, maintained his earlier position that he lacked confidence in the court to try the matter.
He said his client had deposed to an affidavit and he sought to orally move the application.
Counsel to Wike and INEC said the plaintiff’s affidavit asking the judge to disqualify himself from hearing the case was just served them in court and they needed time to respond.
In the affidavit, Chinda claimed that he would not get justice from the court presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo because the judge had on November 19, 2018 dismissed a suit that gave Wike an undue advantage.
He also averred that the present suit alleging certificate forgery was initially assigned to Justice Ahmed Mohammed of Court 5 and later reassigned to Ekwo when his counsel did not make any request for a transfer.
The trial judge, Ekwo, adjourned the matter until February 13 by agreement of counsel.
Chinda is asking the court to disqualify Wike from contest the forthcoming governorship election in Rivers having allegedly forged his birth certificate.
He alleged that Wike forged the birth certificate he presented to INEC for clearance to contest the position of governor of Rivers in March 2.
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