Politics

Woman, Kwara judge bicker over court shooting, alleged partiality



A defendant, Bukola Abikoye, has accused a High Court judge in Ilorin, Kwara State, Hammed Gegele, of ordering one of his police aides to shoot at the legal assistant of her (Abikoye’s) lawyer.

She also accused the judge of denying her fair hearing in a divorce matter.

But the judge denied the allegations, stating that Abikoye and her lawyers had resorted to blackmail to intimidate him.

The woman said her husband dragged her to court after she left him over domestic violence.

She said, “He has been harassing my legal team. He has been addressing them in a condescending way and neglecting my application for fair hearing.

“When my legal team argues in my favour, he will not document it, but will be recording that of the other team.

 “He is harsh on my legal team. I have written to the Chief Judge of Kwara State to report all the things I have observed about the case.

“On May 30, 2022, at the Omu-Aran High Court, he ordered that one of the members of my legal team be shot, but I thank God the gunshot didn’t hit him. It is obvious I cannot get justice. The person who was aimed at didn’t do anything to warrant being shot at. He was unarmed.  This is the peak of it. Even criminals are not shot at in court, so why attempt to murder this man?”

She wondered why the matter was being heard in Ilorin when she and her husband resided in Abuja.

Abikoye said, “If the petitioner is truly in search of justice, why travel that far to find a court of law? Are there no courts in Abuja, why Omu-Aran?”

But the judge, while reacting to the allegations, said Abikoye and her lawyers were being economical with the truth.

He said, “I have never handled a case like this in my life; but I am not intimidated and my records speak for me.

“They find it uneasy to tell you the truth and what actually transpired. They invaded the court with thugs and used phones to record court proceedings, wanting to implicate the judge and write frivolous petitions to criticise the judge, but failed to file the necessary processes expected of them.

“They wanted to delay the hearing of the matter, but the court didn’t allow them and the court resolved that the matter must be determined expeditiously according to the law. This is the reason they resorted to cheap blackmail.”

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