Ngige, Uba and Egbo-Egbo
Mobolaji E. Aluko, Ph.D.
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,"
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
Inquiring minds want to know.