Tsoho: the denigrator
To Justice John Tsoho, granting requests in favour of government without adhering to the requirements of the law, and then withdrawing when utterly disgraced, has become a habit. Even at the risk of bringing shame and disrepute to his name and that of the Judiciary in Nigeria, he has always shown this despicable habit.
As a result of this, a great number of people now see him as habitual “withdrawer” from cases. He did it last year in June, in the case between the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Wale Babalakin. He was forced to step down from the case in shame after the duo of Wale Akoni and Abiodun Layonu, (Babalakin’s lawyers) petitioned the Chief Justice, Ibrahim Auta against him.
On April 29, 2015, Tsoho had barred the respondents from proceeding with a proposed arraignment of Babalakin, pending the determination of a fundamental rights enforcement suit brought against the prosecutors. But the judge later discharged the order “without a formal application from the respondent”.
That gave rise to the petition dated June 19, 2015, urging Auta to withdraw the case file from Tsoho and to re-assign it to another judge. In shame and disgrace, Tsoho stepped down from the case.
Auta: urged to reassign case
Tsoho was in his element again on Thursday, March 7, when he vacated his ruling of January 19, without any formal application from the prosecution. On January 19, he had ruled against hooded witnesses in the case brought by Directorate of State Security (DSS) against Nnamdi Kanu, Leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and his colleagues. Then on March 7, he ruled in favour of witnesses being shielded behind screens – a decision that was akin to permitting the decision of February 19 from the backdoor.
The ignoble judge, Tsoho did this in spite of the fact that the decision equally went contrary to the Nigeria’s Constitution of 1999, which states: “…36 (3) the proceedings of a court or the proceedings of any tribunal relating to the matters mentioned in subsection (1) of this section (including the announcement of the decisions of the court or tribunal shall be held in public.”
This led the defendants to appeal the ruling the following Tuesday, asking for an order setting aside Justice Tsoho’s ruling; then petitioning the Chief Justice to transfer the case to another judge. The defendants accused Justice Tsoho of bias.
Tsoho has been accused of indulging in all the legal shenanigans and gymnastics because of his mad ambition to become the next Chief Judge of the Federal High Court. Yet he has always done this at the detriment of the integrity of the courts and Judiciary of the country.
That is a reason why his rascality on the bench goes beyond granting government requests without formal applications, and contrary to the law. H is known to have also made a business of scavenging for controversial but rejected cases by other judges because of the trumped-up nature of their charges against citizens. He did this when he scavenged for the Kanu’s case after Justice Ahmed Mohammed, withdrew from it, so also did he do with Raymond Dokpesi’s case on February 17, after Justice Gabriel Kolawole resigned from it in protest of Buhari’s government’s meddlesomeness with the case.
Tsoho is a shame and disgrace to the legal profession and the time has come when all hands must be on deck to extricate him from the Judiciary, which he has ignobly denigrated at different times.

Tim Tochukwu
for Biafra Choice Writers
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