From the CourtPilot Law

Ile Arugbo: Claimants ask Judge to recuse self from trial, transfer of case

By Mumini Abdulkareem
Claimants to ‘Ile Arugbo’, the disputed land of the late Dr Olusola Saraki Asa Investments Limited on Thursday asked the Chief Judge of Kwara state, Justice Sulyman Kawu to reassign the case to another court.
The case is currently before the state High Court presided over by Justice Abiodun Adebara.
The claimants also urged the Judge to recuse himself from the case.
Moving the application at the resumed hearing of the case Thursday, claimants’ lead counsel, Dr Akin Onigbinde (SAN) said that “we have an application before the court asking the judge to withdraw himself from the case”.
Onigbinde, however said the application was not against the person of the honourable judge adding that it was about what the public will feel.
“It is not an application against the person of the honourable Judge. The concern is what ordinary members of the public will feel in this circumstance. There is no ruling yet. We give the court the freedom/latitude to decide according to its discretion”, he added.
Onigbinde told the court that a written address in support of the motion was filed on October 22nd, 2020.
“We also filed our reply on point of law on November 3rd, 2020. We humbly adopt the argument in the filed written statement, relying on the written address as our argument in support of this affidavit. We have also caused to be filed in this court list of authorities to support the written address.”
Counsel to the state government, who is also the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Kwara State, Salman Jawondo did however not oppose the application for the reassignment of the case.
He, however, described the application as frivolous.
Jawondo told the court that the defendants filed their response to the claimants’ application on October 27th, 2020.
“We would not mind if this case is transferred from this court. After all, we have more than 17 high court judges in the state.”
After listening to counsel from both sides, Justices Adebara said “this case is adjourned for ruling to a date that will be communicated to counsel to the parties.”
He therefore ordered all counsels to submit various authorities cited in their arguments to the court before the close of work on Friday.

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