Tony Osauzo, Benin
There was a free for all at the premises of Federal High Court in Benin City, Edo State, venue of the ongoing case between House of Representatives member, Mr Johnson Oghuma and Mr Julius Abuda over the conduct of All Progressives Congress (APC) primary in Etsako federal constituency. Both litigants later ignited a war of words.
Trouble reportedly started when some supporters believed to be loyal to the petitioner and defendant clashed at the court premises.
Abuda, had in a suit before the Federal High Court in Benin, dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), the APC and Mr Oghuma to court, praying among others, to declare him the winner of the APC Estako federal constituency primary.
But in a statement, Abuda expressed shock at the incident and urged the security agencies to call Mr Oghuma to order.
“On Tuesday, January 17, 2019, we produced our two witnesses, their lawyer G.C Igbokwe, crossed examined us and we submitted our evidence to the court.
“Then Tuesday, January 22, 2019, was the day the defendants, INEC, APC and Oghuma were to produce their witnesses to be crossed examined by our lawyers.
“Everything went on well. The court later adjourned to February 20, 2019, for further hearing and we left the court. One of Oghuma’s boys Nurudeen aka ‘I must do’ led other thugs to attacked my supporters and lawyers.
“Johnny brought two branded buses loaded with thugs and armed policemen. Thank God it was witnessed by court staff. Why must a lawmaker bring untamed thugs to court knowing the implication,” he queried.
Reacting to Abuda’s claim, the member Representing Etsako Central federal constituency, Mr Oghuma, confirmed the incident but said he was not at the court premises when the said attack took place.
The lawmaker who said he was sure of victory at the court and at the poll, said he won in the 31 wards at the party’s primary.
“He must be out of his mind. Tell him I said so. Why do I need thugs for a case I know by the grace of God I will win?
“If there was disagreement between his boys who insulted my lawyer, Barrister G.C Igbokwe, (SAN) and one of my men who could not bear his attitude and challenged him even when I was not there, how does that now amount to my bringing thugs to court? He Abuda was not even in court.
“Abuda claimed there was no primary, but I won the primary and I tendered all the result sheets and every necessary document that proved there was a primary election and I won in 31 wards as against the one ward he won,” Oghuma said.