Ex-Plateau Senator Accuses Plateau Chief Judge, Justice Pius Damulak Of Abuse Of Office, Oppression And Nepotism
A former Senator from Plateau, Senator Satty Gogwim has accused the Plateau Chief Judge, Justice Pius Damulak, of abuse of judicial oath of office. According to Satty he said Justice Damulak is also involved in judicial oppression and nepotism against him.
According to documents made available to this medium by the former senator, he said the facts of matter is that on the 17th November 2016, he wrote a complaint and petition against Honourable Justice Pius Damulak, the Chief Judge of Plateau State, the petition titled: “PETITION AGAINST HONOURABLE PIUS DAMULAK, CHIEF JUDGE OF PLATEAU STATE FOR ABUSE OF JUDICIAL OATH OF OFFICE, JUDICIAL OPPRESSION AND NEPOTISM AGAINST ME” was submitted to the National Judicial Council.”
Senator Satty said, by letter Ref No. NJC/3/S.31/HC.PL/1/217, dated 1st December, 2016 NJC wrote demanding that the complaint was not accompanied by verifying affidavit of which a comprehensive complaint with an accompanying affidavit was resubmitted on 13th January, 2017.
According to him he said; “The facts of the complaint and Petition are that Honourable Justice Pius Damulak assigned the case of his Kinsman Mr. Gregory Dakyap to his Court. The case was primarily that of breach of contract. Mr. Gregory Dakyap had approached him, Senator Satty Gogwim to purchaser his property for N35Million, a property that was worth N45Million.”
Narrating the incident how it all happened he said; “By an agreement, Mr. Gregory Dakyap was to pay in 3 installments. The first installment of N12.5Million was paid in October 2012. The 2nd and 3rd Installments of N22.5Million was to be paid in March and April 2013. Mr. Gregory Dakyap could not pay the balance. After several demands, Mr. Gregory Dakyap wrote the Senator to look for a buyer. After suffering profound hardship and heavy embarrassments, from those he bought building materials on credit, Senator Satty Gogwim found a buyer, who again paid in installments. Meanwhile Mr. Gregory Dakyap now resurfaced on 10th October, 2014 and offered to pay the balance N22.5Million; Senator Satty Gogwim naturally gave him a reviewed price of N56Million from the initial value of N45Million Naira.”
Universalreporters247.com learnt that Gregory Dakyap now demanded for refund of his N12.5Million within 14 days; “Senator Satty Gogwim gave him a refund N2Million. At the expiry of the 14 days given by Gregory Dakyap he filed a suit and Justice Pius Damulak decided to handle the case under undefended List instead of handling the case under general cause list as if it was a loan. Justice Pius Damulak assigned the case to his court. Before the hearing, Senator Satty Gogwim refunded N7Million to Gregory Dakyap. When the case came up for hearing Justice Pius Damulak entered judgment for N10.5Million despite evidence of payment of N9Million Naira because he was in a hurry to do so.”
It was also gathered that Senator Satty Gogwim then gave N1Million to Mr. Gregory Dakyap after the judgment in March 2016 which would have brought the total refund of the deposit to N10Million, Mr. Gregory Dakyap refused to collect the money and boasted openly that he is going to embarrass Senator Satty Gogwim, obviously through the Court via Justice Pius Damulak. Justice Pius Damulak at every sitting harassed Senator Satty Gogwim’s lawyers and awarded unreasonably high costs even when not applied for by Gregory Dakyap’s counsel. The bias shown in handling the case by Justice Pius Damulak was palpable. Senator Satty Gogwim applied for transfer of the case to another judge on an allegation of bias to hear post judgment applications. Justice Pius Damulak refused to transfer the case to another judge because his Kinsman is involved. Justice Pius Damulak expectedly dismissed the Motion for Stay of Execution by Senator Satty Gogwim. Then Senator Satty Gogwim’s lawyers filed a motion for installmental payment. Even when the motion was pending, Justice Pius Damulak signed an Order of Execution. True the boast of Mr. Gregory Dakyap was fulfilled when 5 Policemen armed with AK47 rifles and a numerous staff of the High Court invaded Senator Satty Gogwim’s residence on 16th November, 2016, blocked the whole street and attached his Toyota Tundra Car with the aim of selling the car and pay his brother Gregory Dakyap.
After the Court Execution with its attendant embarrassment, Justice Pius Damulak gave a date for hearing of the motion for installmental payment and transferred the case to Honourable Justice P. L. Lot who declined to hear the case. It is for the aforesaid facts that a complaint was written to NJC.
There was no reply from NJC until 20th June, 2017, when the NJC wrote to say after investigation the petition had no merit and was therefore dismissed. What is baffling is that the letter stated that after receiving a reply from Justice Pius Damulak it came to the said conclusion that the Senator’s petition had no merit. Senator Satty Gogwim was never given a copy of the reply from Justice Damulak. He was never invited by the NJC. Yet his complaint which carried grave and weighty accusations backed with all necessary documents was casually dismissed with a wave of the hand!
According to Senator Satty he said, he believe there have been serious allusions that some judges who are well acquainted with the Secretary of the NJC Danladi Halilu Esq have never had any complaint against them investigated. It is a well-known fact that Danladi Halilu Esq and Justice Pius Damulak have been good friends from the days of old Plateau State when they were both staff of the judiciary before Danladi Halilu Esq moved to Nasarawa State when it was created in the year 1996. Halilu Danladi Esq has become a cult figure and well feared personnel in NJC circles as one who can do and undo against any petition. Tongues are wagging as to why Danladi Halilu Esq is still in public service whether by age of 60 years or 35 years of service. This is a story for another day.”
“If erring judges cannot be disciplined due to “connections” in NJC, then the battle against corruption has not started. This is because the hallmark of every society is reflected in the conduct of her judges. This is also so because there should be equality before the law the judiciary being the last hope of the common man. The aim of establishing the NJC among other functions is to discipline erring judges who sell judgments but that is not the case with the petition and complaint against Justice Pius Damulak,” Satty said.
Satty said; “The fight against corruption can only be fought with corrupt free institutions. But where nepotism, “connections” and other serious vices thrive in the institutions, then the war against corruption is still a lip service. The structure of NJC as a disciplinary institution needs serious re-examination if Nigeria is to come cut of the woods of corruption in a foreseeable future.”