Former Enugu Chief Judge Blames Ekweremadu As EFCC Grills Him Over N632m
Ousted Enugu State Chief Judge, Justice Innocent Azubuike Umezulike, on Thursday faced interrogation by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Port-Harcourt, capital of Rivers state.
The former Enugu chief judge was quizzed over the sum of N632.2million allegedly traced to his account, reports The Nation.
The National Judicial Council (NJC) had in September 2016 recommended Justice Umezulike for compulsory retirement alongside Justice Mohammed Tsamiya, who was the Presiding Justice of the Ilorin Division of the Court of Appeal.
Justice Umezulike was sanctioned for “delivering judgment in a case 126 days after final addresses were adopted by parties, and for other instances of abuse of office”.
The NJC had also found the former Enugu chief judge guilty of “receiving a donation of N10m from a businessman, Prince Arthur Eze, during his book launch while two cases in which Eze was said to have had ‘vested interest’, were in the judge’s court.”
Justice Umezulike’s interrogation by the EFCC on Thursday followed prolonged attempts to stall his visit to the office of the anti-graft agency citing the need to travel abroad for medical reasons while also accusing deputy senate president, Mr Ike Ekweremadu of a witch-hunt.
In a January 12 letter to the EFCC, the retired judge said: “My trouble with Ekweremadu started in 2014 when I declared his three-man delegates list as null and void and cannot be used for PDP primaries in Enugu State.
“For Mr. Peter Eze, I ordered Enugu State Police Command to arrest and investigate him. These forces have circulated series of petitions against me.”
The EFCC in its response however maintained that while many of its investigations were done in response to petitions, it was a non-partisan agency. The anti-graft agency also stated clearly that Sen. Ekweremadu is not a complainant in this case against the retired judge.
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