25 March 2022. The Nigeria Lawyer: The People’s Democratic Party, Ebonyi State Chapter has written a petition through its lawyer, Nkemakolam Okoro S.C Esq to the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Olumide Akpata, alleging endemic and unmitigated abuse of court process by lawyers associated to the Governor of the State, Engr Dave Umahi.
The petition dated the 22nd of March, 2022 and titled “THE ENDEMIC AND UNMITIGATED ABUSE OF COURT PROCESSES, AND GROSS MISCONDUCT, AGAINST ROY O.U NWEZE ESQ, OGBONNAYA OKORIE ESQ, OKWURU UZOCHUKWUMA ESQ, AND OTHER LAWYERS IN EBONYI STATE: THE URGENT NEED FOR THE INTERVENTION OF THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION”, reported Roy O.U Nweze Esq, Ogbonnaya Okorie Esq, Okwuru Uzochukwu Esq and other lawyers in the state for deliberately and maliciously cloning and duplicating cases before the Federal High Court, Abuja at the Ebonyi State High Court in order to frustrate the judgments of the Federal High Court.
“It is our client’s instructions that we bring to your attention, for urgent intervention, the ceaseless abuse of court process and gross misconducts against Roy O.U Nweze Esq, of No 7 Agwu Street, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Ogbonnaya Okorie Esq, of No 16 Ojeawere Street, Abakaliki Ebonyi State, Okwuru Uzochukwuma Esq, and other lawyers in Ebonyi State, procured and used by Roy O.U Nweze Esq, to clone already pending matters, at the Federal High Court Abuja, which they file at the High Court Ebonyi State, to frustrate the judgments of the Federal High Court, Abuja, or pending suits at the Federal High Court Abuja.”
In the 7-page petition sighted by TheNigeriaLawyer, they informed the NBA President that the Peoples Democratic Party, had commenced legal action, against the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr David Nweze Umahi, and the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Dr Eric Kelechi Igwe, on the 17th of August 2021, in an action in Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/920/2021, between Peoples Democratic Party V Independent National Electoral Commission, Engr David Nwaeze Umahi and Dr Eric Kelechi Igwe, at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
That the parties had filed and exchanged pleadings, which were all adopted on the 19th day of January 2022, and the matter reserved for judgment, on the 8th day of March 2022.
They further lamented that on the 4th day of February 2022, Roy O.U Nweze Esq, in connivance with Ogbonnaya Okorie Esq, a lawyer in the private law firm of the Attorney General of Ebonyi State, in Suit NO:HAB/13/2022, commenced a similar action before the High Court of Ebonyi State, via originating summons, wherein they sought to determine the same issues surrounding the defection of the governor of Ebonyi State, from the Peoples Democratic Party, to the All Progressives Congress, as in the earlier case pending at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
They informed the NBA President that Suit NO:HAB/13/2022 was filed by Roy O.U Nweze Esq using Ogbonnaya Okorie Esq, after the matter in Suit No:FHC/ABJ/CS/920/2021, was heard on the 19th of January 2022, and adjourned for judgment to the 8th day of March 2022.
In the petition, they stated that Roy O.U Nweze Esq, was aware of the pendency of the similar suit at the Federal High Court Abuja, and the fact that the matter was adjourned for judgment, before cloning the same suit, and filing its replica, in the High Court of Ebonyi State.
In addition to the foregoing, the PDP informed the NBA President that Suit NO:HAB/13/2022 came up on the 11th day of February 2022 for the first time, and the court heard and granted ex parte applications filed by Ogbonnaya Okorie Esq, Counsel for the Plaintiffs/Applicants, and further adjourned the matter to the 23rd day of February 2022, for the return date of the service of processes on the defendants/respondents.
It further stated that:
“That on the 23rd day of February 2022, when the matter came up for the report of service, Roy O.U Nweze Esq, in connivance Ogbonnaya Okorie Esq, in the matter, conspired and ensured the matter was heard, on a day it was adjourned for the report of service, and the matter was subsequently adjourned to 28th day of February 2022, for judgment. A copy of the record of proceedings of the 23rd day of February 2022, is attached as Annexure 2.
It is further our client’s instructions, that Roy O.U Nweze Esq, knew, about the subsistence of a similar matter, earlier filed at the Federal High Court Abuja, and the fact that the matter was heard on the 19th of January 2022, and adjourned for judgment to the 8th of March 2022, before he proceeded to procure, a lawyer, in the private Chambers of the Attorney General of Ebonyi State, who cloned and filed a duplicate suit in Ebonyi State, to frustrate the matter, which was heard on the 19th of January 2022 and already adjourned for judgment to the 8th day of March 2022.”
“It is our client’s instructions that the High Court of Ebonyi State, on the 28th day of February 2022, in Suit NO HAB/13/2022, dated and filed on the 4th of February 2022, between Sen Sunny Obuoji, Justin Mbam Ogodo & All Progressive Congress V Engr David Nwaeze Umahi & Dr Eric Kelechi Igwe, in keeping with the plot of Roy O.U. Nweze Esq, to frustrate the suit already pending for judgment in Abuja, delivered its judgment in the matter, filed on the 4th of February 2022, on the 28th day of February 2022, within a record period of 23 days.”
They further evinced four more cases and annexed five documents to show how the said Lawyers have moved to frustrate the cases filed and being heard by the Federal High Court Abuja.
In Paragraph 23 of the petition, the PDP informed the NBA President about their frustration at the level of court abuse perpetrated so far by the said lawyers and asked for the NBA’s intervention.
“Our client, is still perplexed, at the level of abuse of court processes so far perpetrated by Roy O.U Nweze Esq, and his team of lawyers in Ebonyi State, and are, therefore, desperately appealing for the intervention of the Nigerian Bar Association, under your able and dynamic Leadership, in this unprecedented and now endemic, abuse of court processes, by Roy O.U Nweze Esq, and other lawyers in Ebonyi State.”
They prayed the NBA to intervene and cause investigations into the complained acts with a view to meting disciplinary actions against the lawyers.
“It is, therefore, given these facts above, that our client, most respectfully appeals to Nigerian Bar Association, to intervene, and cause investigations into these clear cases of gross misconduct and abuse of court processes by Roy O.U Nweze Esq, and his gang members, and possibly mete out appropriate disciplinary sanctions as a deterrent to others, who also have pending cloned cases in Ebonyi State.”