A Rivers State High Court Judge, Justice Chiwendu Nwogu, has declined to preside over a criminal matter before him following a petition filed against his court by the wife of a murdered victim, Prince Egege.

Egege was killed on November 10, 2016, in the Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State over a land matter.

The wife of the slain man, Usila, alleged in her petition that the court would be biased in dispensing justice as the presiding judge hails from same local government area as the suspected killers.

Justice Nwogu transferred the matter to the Rivers State Chief Justice, adding that since there was a petition against his court, it was proper for him to withdraw from hearing the matter.

The prosecution counsel, K. Olawale, who was absent in court on Wednesday, had transmitted a letter to the court seeking an adjournment, but the counsel for the first, second and third defendants objected to the prayer.

The counsel for the first defendant, J. B. Azunyo, urged the court to strike out the matter, adding that the prosecutor was not serious with the prosecution of the matter following earlier adjournments demanded by him.

Similarly, counsels for the second and third defendants, B. N. Amaze and N. P. Nweke, urged the court to strike out the suit, stating that the intermittent requests for adjournments by the prosecution counsel were in bad taste.

It was alleged that the deceased was murdered after he bought a piece of land from the 2nd defendant, Clement Anaele, and his son, Sonny Anaele, and noticed that the said piece of land was being encroached upon.

When approached over the development, Clement and Sonny were said to have promised to give the deceased another parcel of land.

But on the day of handing over the new plot of land to the victim, Prince was said to have been attacked and killed in the bush.

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