Ngige, Uba and Egbo-Egbo

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Ngige, Uba and Egbo-Egbo

 

By

 

Mobolaji E. Aluko, Ph.D.

Alukome@aol.com
July 25, 2003

Joined as defendants in the ex-parte application suit were  (1)  Dr. Chris Ngige, former (?) governor of Anambra State (2) the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), (3) National Chairman of the party, Chief Audu Ogbeh, (4) PDP National Secretary, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, (5) Inspector General of Police,  (6) Attorney General of the Federation.

The Plaintiffs [with Mr. A. A. Iziyon [SAN] as counsel] were (1)  Chief Chris Uba, Anambra businessman;  (2) Ucheria Azodo,  Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly and (3) Ifeatu Obi-Okoye, PDP Anambra State Chairman:


The  reliefs the Plaintiffs sought in court on July 22 were:

"1.  An order of interim injunction restraining the 5th and 6th defendants either by themselves or their servants, agents, privies or howsoever described from taking any steps or action against the plaintiffs in consequence of the fall out of the resignation of Dr. Chris Ngige as Governor of Anambra state pending the determination of the motion on notice.

"2.  An order of interim injunction restraining the 2nd - 4th respondents either by themselves or their agents, servants, privies, howsoever described form taking any action or step or further steps or further action against the plaintiffs to carrying out the threat of dismissal, expulsion or suspension from the party pending the determination of the motion on notice.

"3.  An order restraining the 1st defendant from parading himself as governor of Anambra state or performing the duties or function of the office of the governor or Anambra state pending the hearing or determination of the motion on notice.

"4.  An order that in the interim, the deputy governor of Anambra state, Dr. Okey Udeh should act and perform the functions of the governor from Anambra state pending the determination of the motion on notice.

"5.  An order granting accelerated hearing of this suit.

"6.  An order of substituted service by delivering the processes filed so far for the 1st - 4th defendants to the national legal adviser or any other in the office and to deem such service as proper service.

"7.  And for such further order or further order or orders as this honourable court may deem fit to make in the circumstances."


Justice Egbo's Tuesday July 22, 2003 ruling read:


"After hearing A. A. Iziyon [SAN] counsel to the plaintiffs/applicants move in terms of the motion paper; and the court having given its ruling. It is hereby ordered as follows:

"*Application is granted as prayed.

"* An order granting accelerated hearing of this suit.

"*Plaintiffs/Applicants to file an undertaking to indemnify the respondents if it is later discovered that the order ought not to have been given."


Another Justice Egbo's Wednesday July 23 clarifying order read:


"I hereby grant the motion ex-parte as prayed and I order:

1. An order of accelerated hearing of this suit.

2. An order of substituted service by delivery the processes files so far for the 1st - 4th defendants to the National Legal Adviser or any other officer in the Legal Department of the PDP and to deem such service as proper service.

3. Motion on Notice filed be served as in (3) above on all defendants within 14 days from today to enable them react if necessary.

4. Plaintiffs/Applicants to file an undertaking to indemnify the respondents if it is later discovered the order ought not to have been given.

5.Return date is 25/7/2003."


And upon  return on Friday, July 25, Justice Egbo said.....


"I want to give the ex-parte order that I made on Monday to counsel  to all the parties in the suit to go through. It has come to my notice that  since I heard this motion and ordered that all the parties be put on notice, the  defendants have filed various applications seeking the voiding of the order.

"I would want to put the records straight by saying that at no time did this  court make any order curtailing or restraining any of the defendants. The  order I made was not the one drawn up by the Senior Registrar. One would have  expected him to be able to lift the five orders that I had granted and I did not  bother going through what he brought before signing it. I therefore vacate the  said order as I never granted it,"


___________________________________________________________________


ALUKO COMMENTARY:


Pretty clear rulings to me:  Reliefs 1 - 4, having been prayed, were granted!  Period.  They were not certainly denied by any of Egbo-Egbo's dual rulings.

But why two rulings?  To make it more difficult for the defendants to state that they did not get his first ruling!  Period.

Judge Egbo-Egbo may be exhibiting some judicial rascality coupled with bench distemper, but there may be a pattern to the madness here.

But wait - it was all the Senior Registrar's fault...and Egbo-Egbo did not read what he wrote!

Is there not judicial discipline for sloppiness on such an important case as a "civilian coup?"  And did he make that ex parte order on Monday or on Tuesday anyway?

Inquiring minds want to know.


Bolaji Aluko

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