A Federal High Court judge in Abuja, John Tsoho has stepped down from the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra.
Tsoho is the second judge to step down on the case, the first judge Ahmed Mohammed, stepped down in December 2015 after Kanu said he had no confidence in him. The acclaimed leader of Indigenous People of Biafra ,IPOB, is facing treason charges brought by the Nigerian government for leading a separatist group. He has been in detention since October 2015.
In a new petition to the National Judicial Council, Kanu accused Justice Tsoho of “judicial rascality” and called for his investigation by the council.
In the petition made available to journalists in Abuja on Sunday September 25 2016, the accused through his lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, asked the council to investigate Mr. Tsoho for giving parallel judgement on the same request.
Mr. Ejiofor said after Justice Tsoho decided in favour of the defense in an application for the protection of witnesses by the prosecution, and later ruled in favour of the prosecution, without seeking the permission of a higher court.
At the opening of session on Monday September 26 2016 another counsel to the accuse, Chuks Muoma, said the continuation of the matter by Justice Tsoho would amount to a great disservice since there was a petition against him, before the NJC. The presiding judge announced he had stepped down, pending the decision of the council.
“Even if I am cleared of any bias by the NJC, I will not continue with this case,” said the justice Tsoho .