Justice Joseph Itsebaga Acha of Benin Excessive Court docket has reacted to condemnations over his verdict within the divorce go well with involving Chief Leemon Ikpea and his spouse, Agnes.
Ikpea, a 64-year-old billionaire, is the Chairman of Lee Engineering Group of Firms.
The choose was closely criticised within the media over his February 17 ruling.
Acha alleged that his pronouncements on two motions filed within the matter have been “skewed” to solid him in a damaging gentle.
NAN experiences that on the resumed listening to on Wednesday, Acha mentioned the respondent (Agnes) had petitioned the Edo Chief Decide to reassign the go well with.
Acha declared he stood by his ruling, including that it was to guard the lives of all of the events concerned.
“It’s right that this matter was mounted for listening to right this moment and right this moment, two motions have been filed on behalf of the respondent and the final was given to me this morning.
“Extra importantly, after the final sitting of this court docket, a petition was written on behalf of the respondent to the Chief Decide, searching for reassignment of this case to a different court docket.
“The petition was referred to me for my response, I responded and I’m awaiting the directive of the Chief Decide on the following step.
“I need to repeat that in my ruling of February 17, the necessity to defend and safeguard the lives of the events stays my main concern greater than the rest,” Acha mentioned.
The choose had restrained Agnes and her proxies from interfering with the petitioner’s brokers and enterprise.
He directed the respondent to vacate the Banana Island residence, pending the willpower of the substantive go well with.
Acha mentioned Agnes might alternatively transfer into the petitioner’s GRA Benin residence briefly till the go well with was decided.
He made reference to an utility by the respondent urging the court docket to switch the petition for dissolution of marriage to Lagos State judiciary for willpower.
The choose mentioned having thought of arguments for and towards the applying, he discovered no advantage within the request.
Acha ordered the petitioner to deposit a N5million financial institution assure with the court docket to cater for the respondent’s bills all through the length of the go well with.
Acha, the second most senior Decide within the Edo State Excessive Court docket hierarchy, faces an allegation of bias.
The Justice Acha, mentioned to be within the Felony Division of Court docket, was accused of sitting “intentionally” on a divorce case.
Ikpea’s resolution to institute the case in Benin, though Agnes resides in Lagos, raised eyebrows.
The petitioner and the choose have been linked to “their frequent Ishan heritage and Catholic Church membership”.
Critics accused Acha of ordering Agnes to vacate her matrimonial house whereas the case continues to be in court docket.
Reviews say the following day after the ruling (February 18), thugs threw the spouse out of the house with none of her belongings.
It was gathered that Ikpea, a Catholic, married Agnes underneath native regulation and customized almost 4 many years in the past.
Round 20 years in the past, they renewed vows on the St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Toyin Avenue in Ikeja. The couple have six youngsters.
Ipkea reportedly married Tina Ochuko in 2002 underneath native regulation and customized. She additionally lives within the magnate’s Banana Island mansion.