From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) has asked the Nigerian Bar Association(NBA) to effect disciplinary actions against three practicing lawyers alleged to have cloned court processes in the defection suit involving the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, his deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe and 16 members of the state House of Assembly.
In the petition addressed to the President of the NBA, Olumide Akpata and dated March 22 highlighted alleged acts of gross misconduct perpetrated by Roy O.U. Nweze, Ogbonnaya Okorie and Okwuru Uzochukwuma, who are all practicing lawyers in Ebonyi state.
The petition which was received by the NBA on March 24, 2022, was filed by counsel to the PDP, Nkemakolam Okoro.
It specifically drew the attention of the NBA president to the alleged acts of misconduct and abuse of court processes which was masterminded by Roy Nweze “in connivance with Ogbonnaya Okorie and others to frustrate the defection suit that was pending against Governor Umahi, his deputy, Igwe and the 16 lawmakers before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
The party stated that on August 17, 2021, it commenced legal action against Governor Umahi, his deputy, Dr. Igwe and Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), before the Federal High Court, Abuja, in suit No: FHC/ABJ/920/2021.
That Nweze allegedly procurred the services of Ogbonnaya, Uzochukwuma and other lawyers in Ebonyi state to clone an already pending matters at the Federal High Court, Abuja, which they file at the High Court of Ebonyi state, to frustrate the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
That while parties had filed and exchanged pleadings, which were all adopted on January 19, 2022, and reserved for judgment to March 8, 2022, on February 4, 2022, Roy Nweze in connivance with Ogbonnaya Okorie, in suit No: HAB/13/2022, commenced a similar action before the High Court of Ebonyi state, via an originating summons wherein they sought to determine the same issues surrounding the defection of the governor of Ebonyi state from the PDP to the APC, as in the earlier case pending before the Federal High Court, Abuja.
That the said suit No: HAB/13/2022 was filed by Nweze using Ogbonnaya Okorie, after the matter in suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/920/2021, was heard on January 19, 2022, and adjourned for judgment to March 8, 2022.
The petitioner alleged that Roy Nweze, was aware of the pedency of the similar suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja, and the fact that the matter was adjourned for judgment, before clonning the same suit and filling its replica, in the High Court of Ebonyi state.
That Nweze allegedly manipulate the accelerated hearing and determination of the suit before the Ebonyi State High Court, which was filed on February 4, 2022 and judgment delivered on February 28, with the sole aim of frustrating the suit before the Federal High Court on same subject matter.
It equally drew the attention of the body of lawyers to the fact that Roy Nweze further clonned similar court processes in some cases involving Mrs. Lilian Eziulo and Oliver Osi among others to frustrate pending cases at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The party there called on the NBA to ” intervene and to cause investigation into these clear cases of gross misconduct and abuse of court processes by Roy Nweze and his gang members, and possibly mete out appropriate sanctions as a deterrent to others, who also have pending cloned cases in Ebonyi state.”