Federal High Court returns Justice Abang to Abuja

A new re-deployment ‎by the management of the Federal High Court has brought back a prominent judge of the court, Justice Okon Abang, to the Abuja Division, from where he was posted to Asaba division two years ago.

The new redeployment according to a circular by the Chief Judge, Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati, is to take effect from February 11.

Our correspondent obtained the circular dated January 21, 2019, on Wednesday morning.

Judges affected by the redeployment announced in the circular included Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, who is posted to Asaba to replace Justice Abang.

‎Justice Dimgba who is reputed for speedy hearing and determination of both civil and criminal cases in Abuja was appointed a judge in 2015 and has since remained in Abuja Division, his first posting.

The rest of the judges with new postings are Justice Babs Kuewumi, who is redeployed from Lagos to Ado-Ekiti; Justice Babatunde Quadri, from Abuja to Maiduguri; Justice Taiwo Taiwo, from Ado-Ekiti to Abuja; and Justice J. K Dagat from Maiduguri to Lagos.

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The circular titled, ‘Further posting of judges’, added a note which read, “Hon. Justice B. O Kuewumi will resume in Ekiti on February 4, while all other judges affected by the transfer will resume in their division on February 11”.

Although Justice Abang was redeployed to Asaba in January 2017, he was given the authority by the Chief Judge of the court, Justice Abdu-Kafarati, to continue to hear some part-heard criminal cases in the Abuja division.

Some of the cases he continued to hear in Abuja included those of a former spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, a former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, and the late former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh.

With the new redeployment, it is believed that the cases being handled by the judge would be given an expedited hearing.

Before the new posting, Justice Abang, who had often expressed his desire to give effect to the relatively new provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act relating to speedy trial, had only been able to devote ‎only a week in two or three months to the cases.

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But back in Abuja, the judge will be able to devote more time to the cases.

It is believed that ‎Justice Dimgba, who is expected to resume in the Asaba Division of the court on February 11, will also be given the authority to conclude a number of high profile criminal cases pending before him.

Such cases included those of a former aide to former Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, Abiodun Agbele; ‎former Chief of Air Staff, Mohammed Umar; former President Goodluck Jonathan’s cousin, Robert Azibaola, among others.

During his stay in Abuja, Justice Dimgba has churned out judgments with far-reaching implications, including the one which ordered the reinstatement of Senator Ovie Omo-‎Agege.

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