HIJACKING THE CAUSE OF JUSTICE IN EBONYI STATE JUDICIAL SYSTEM: HOW THE UMAHIS HAVE CONNIVED TO ‘PROCURE’ RULING FROM THE STATE’S HIGH COURT 4 PRESIDED OVER BY JUSTICE V. N. NWANCHOR AND OTHER ACTS OF INTIMIDATION OF EBONYI PDP LAWYERS CUM MEMBERS
The National Judicial Council, NJC
The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA
The National Judicial Service Commission
The Body of Benchers
The National Judicial Institute
The PDP NWC and NEC
Amnesty International/other International Human Rights Advocacy&Justice agencies
We write as concerned members of the opposition, People’s Democratic Party, PDP in Ebonyi State to intimate the entire world about certain terribly ugly incidents which is recently taking place in the hallowed Chambers of justice acting as the very last hope of the common man in our dear State, least it degenerates into a full-blown lawless scenario.
It shouldn’t sound strange of course to any discerning mind that since the defection of our dear Governor, Engr. David Nweze Umahi from our great Party, PDP to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC in November last year, our once peaceful Ebonyi State has known no peace.
The ostensibly sponsored mindless violence and crises which our State is witnessing is chiefly as a result of the blatant but constitutional and democratic refusal of the majority of the elders and leaders of our great Party- the PDP to join Governor Umahi on his defection train.
Many stakeholders and supporters of our great Party chose in their wisdom to remain under the large PDP umbrella and that is also within their own rights as individuals whose right to freedom of Association is adequately guaranteed under Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As amended). Since early December last year, hell has since been let loose and Governor Umahi and his surrogates have unabashedly continued to launch offensives; verbal and physical attacks, killings and all manner of limitless violence on our faithful Party members whose only known crime is that they decided to keep faith with our great Party- the PDP.
HARRASSMENTS, INTIMIDATION OF OUR LAWYERS RIGHT BEFORE A JUDGE AND PHONE CALLS TO KILL, SUE AND ATTACK OUR LEGAL TEAM MEMBERS DIRECTLY MADE BY GOVERNOR UMAHI, HIS ELDER BROTHER, ROY UMAHI AND SUNDRY FEAR OVER ‘PROCUREMENT’ OF JUSTICE:
Despite the fact that we have already filed a formal petition before the appropriate legal agency responsible for disciplining of erring Judges whenever the need arises- the National Judicial Council, NJC particularly with regards to the actions of the State’s Chief Judge, Justice Anselm Nwigwe, we still feel obliged in the utmost interest of justice and indeed, the sacred judicial arm of government to raise the alarm over an inconceivable hijack of practically every proper and legal judicial processes in Suit No. HAB/161/2020 now pending before Justice V. N. Nwanchor of the High Court, 4, Abakaliki as the presiding Judge.
Justice Aselem Nwigwe
Indeed, it bothers emphasizing that this is a sponsored legal charade by Governor Umahi and the Umahis merely meant to create a false impression of division and factionalization of our dear Party in Ebonyi State whereas in reality, none of such truly exists. This known syllogism is derived from the very fact that the National leadership of our great Party- the PDP immediately constituted a lawful State Working Committee after it legally dissolved the Onyekachi Nwebonyi Esq. and Austin Umahi-led State and Zonal Working Committees following obvious manifestations of anti-Party activities upon Governor Umahi’s final defection to the ruling APC.
In the said petition dated 8th January 2021 and received on the 18th of same month, we had copiously detailed the NJC of certain anomalies which among others include the confidential disclosure by the Registrar in charge of Appeal, one Mr.
Ezinwa Ogudu that the Chief Judge of Ebonyi State, Justice H. A. Nwigwe had allegedly warned him not to process and transit our records of Appeal which our counsel had orally applied for in an open Court.
The contemplation of the Nwebonyi-led dissolved Exco plaintiffs-turned-manipulators of the law was that such delay in the processing of our documents till at least the 18th of January 2021 since 24th of December last year when he had promised it would be ready for onward transmission to the Court of Appeal, Enugu division would enable the presiding Judge, Justice Nwanchor to ambush us with a ruling in their favour on an order of interlocutory injunction against the Elder Fred Udeogu-led and validly constituted Care-Taker Committee of the PDP in Ebonyi State.
Following this strange arrangement, the said Mr. Ogudu had switched off all his lines and was never within reach throughout this period till we were forced to cry out and seek alternative means of fulfilling our legal obligation.
Whereas, we as law abiding citizens are very willing to let the axe of justice grind, even if slowly, the attempt by the accused Justice Nwanchor and his co-travellers to impose the said rulings on us despite our accusations of compromise and bias against him truly calls for worry to all lovers of justice, equity and equality before the temple of justice!
We were rudely shocked to our bone marrows to have witnessed a very despicable threat by the elder brother to Governor Umahi, Roy Umahi Esq.
to beat up one of the senior Lawyers in our Legal team, Mudi Ehrenede Esq. The latter’s only crime was that he had stood up to address the Court simply on the issues of law regarding the suit he was properly briefed to handle.
In Roy Umahi’s verbal missiles; “I will beat you up here and nothing will happen! We have the Court, we have the Judge, we have the Police, we have the soldiers and we also have the thugs”, a visibly enraged Roy boldly proclaimed before a seemingly helpless and hapless Justice Nwanchor who was rather more eager to deliver the ‘purchased’ ruling than address the very serious concern of threat to the life of a Lawyer he swore an oath to protect. The same Roy and Nwebonyi were later to lead a group of political thugs in their hundreds who had besieged the Court and its premises accompanied by a ready team of Police and Soldiers to our Party’s Secretariat at Km 8, Enugu Expressway, Abakaliki which is part of what has been in contention since the quondam State Exco was dissolved and our Committee inaugurated to take charge.
Just a few hours before the Court proceedings of Monday, January 18th, the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Umahi had personally called one of our lawyers, Mazi Igbo Esq. to threaten not only to deal with him but to also sue him for being part of our legal team. It is truly absurd that the third arm of government and indeed, legal practitioners in Ebonyi State have been unduly intimidated, harassed and dastardly compromised by the Executive arm of government all because the Governor is insipidly desperate to coerce all Ebonyians born and unborn into his fast-fading APC voyage.
OUR SINCERE DEMANDS:
On behalf of the leaders and all genuine members of our great Party- the PDP, Ebonyi State Chapter, we simply demand as follows:
(i)That the NJC should WITHOUT DELAY thoroughly investigate all those who are hell-bent on tarnishing the reputable image of the Judiciary in our dear Ebonyi State to not only serve as a deterrent to others but also curb the growing impunity, rascally and reckless interference of the Umahi-led Executive arm of government.
(II) Where necessary, the NJC, NBA and indeed all concerned should mete appropriate sanctions to anyone found guilty or culpable of undermining the law and the Judiciary which remains the last hope of the common man no matter how HIGHLY PLACED or powerful such individuals may be.
(iii) We demand that since it has become suspicious that Justice Nwanchor may have been ‘compromised’, he should recuse himself from our pending matter and transmit same back to the Chief Judge who should also be monitored very closely!
For it was the wisdom of Horace Mann that: “Injustice alone can shake down the pillars of the skies, and restore the reign of chaos and night”. A Philosopher, Sophocles had similarly opined that: “the golden eye of justice sees, and requites the unjust man”.
We seek urgent attention to righting the many wrongs already done our team in this matter and pray that God uses mean of justice, equity and good conscience to liberate our beloved Ebonyi State from the hands of political wolves that appear hell-bent on devouring it.
While thanking our lawyers for their resoluteness and display of great courage cum maturity in the face of extreme provocations, we finally urge our people and numerous supporters to remain peaceful, calm and law-abiding even amidst several provocations and attacks by agents of the State. For in the end, Ebonyi shall emerge victorious!
Ebonyi State is PDP and PDP is Ebonyi State!!
Chief Fred Udeogu
Elder Fred Udeogu
Caretaker Chairman, PDP, Ebonyi State.
Barr. Luke Nkwegu State Caretaker Secretary