Ortom’s bribe to Justice Aneke: Group petitions Presidency, NJC, NASS, others


Nigerian Concord Newspaper

Benue Rights Watch, BRW, has petitioned the Presidency, National Judicial Council, EFCC, ICPC, National Assembly, Benue State House of Assembly, Inspector General of Police and some other relevant security agencies on the N25 million bribe which the governor of the state, Mr. Samuel Ortom, reportedly gave to a High Court Judge in the state, Justice Joseph Aneke, to use his judicial powers to unjustly incarcerate his perceived enemies within the opposition party, PDP.

The petition which was dated 22nd of October, 2017 with Reference Number BRW/23ch/095h was signed by the national president of the Benue Rights Watch, Barrister Jude Terkura.

According to the petition which was titled: “Report of abuse of office by Justice Joseph Aneke of the Federal High Court, Makurdi ” , the Rights group asked all the agencies that were petitioned including the Presidency and NJC to urgently investigate the judge’s unprofessional conduct which made him to agree to hear a suit against some PDP chieftains like Honourable Kester Kyenge and some others that were indicted by the Justice Elizabeth Kpojime’s report, a report which had been dismissed by another High Court Judge, Justice Adam Onum.

The petitioner urged that the reason why Justice Aneke has been using his judicial powers to harass opposition leaders within the PDP with unlawful court actions must be critically investigated.

The petitioner pressed further that the abuse of office by Justice Aneke had brought and would continue to bring the Judiciary to disrepute as the common men no longer see the judiciary as their last succour.

The petitioner wondered why Aneke decided to entertain a case from the Kpojime’s report when it had earlier been faulted by several competent courts and judges in Benue state and beyond.

The two-page petition reads in parts: “We want your office to investigate why Justice Aneke has now agreed to negate what his colleagues had said about the Kpojime’s report if he hadn’t truly collected the said N25 million bribe to do what Governor Ortom wishes for the opposition leaders within the PDP.

“We want you to kindly and urgently investigate this unprofessional conduct of Honourable Justice Joseph Aneke before he makes the common men to begin to think that the Judiciary isn’t their last succour.

“We also beg that you quickly investigate Justice Aneke why he decided to help the governor use the Kpojime’s report to harass the opposition even when one of his colleagues in the Bench, Honourable Justice Adam Onum of the High Court in Makurdi, Benue state, had on September 29, 2017 ruled in favour of one Honourable Kester Kyenge and as well dismissed the recommendations of the Justice Elizabeth Kpojime’s reports which had earlier indicted him.

“We will want you to be informed that in his judgement on 29/9/2017, Justice A.O. Onum specifically ordered that the report /recommendations of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Funds Accruing/Received and the Utilisation of Benue State Funds/Assets, 2015, in the hands of the respondents shall be laid before his court for purposes if being quashed to the extent that the same holds the applicant liable to refund any money to the Government of Benue State as he has not been fairly heard on the matter.

“Justice Onum also ruled that upon being laid before his court, the said report/recommendations of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry in the hands of the respondents shall and is hereby quashed to the extent that the same purports to hold the applicant liable to refund any money to the Government of Benue State as he has not been fairly heard on the matter.

“Having briefed you about Justice Onum’s judgment of the 29th September, 2017, we want you to urgently Investigate why Justice Aneke decided to accept the bribe of N25 million less than two weeks after to negate the earlier ruling which was against the Kpojime’s reports. The bribe which Justice Aneke too from Governor Ortom explains why he expressly remanded Honourable Kester Kyenge, Mr. David Sev-Av, Mr. Andrew Ayande, Mr. Terfa Bosua and Mr. Alex Ogaba when they appeared before him on the 13th October, 2017 after he had unprofessionally dismissed their bail applications which were presented by their lawyers.

“We refer you to page two of the attached publication of Nigerian Concord Newspaper where details of how the said bribe was given to Justice Joseph Aneke so you will have verifiable facts to investigate the corrupt judge and bring him to book before he rubbishes the anti corruption fight of President Mohammadu Buhari.

“However, we want you to quickly order that Justice Joseph Aneke should withdraw from the trial of the above mentioned persons pending then outcome of your anticipated investigation since there are evidences that he has been bought over by Governor Ortom in order to kill the voices of the opposition leaders especially the fifty two people who had been unjustly indicted by the Justice Elizabeth Kpojime’s reports”