Wednesday, 29 March, 2023

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Ebonyi PDP Crisis: Caretaker Committee, dissolved Exco clash over service of court processes


The Fred Udeogu led Caretaker Committee of the Ebonyi State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has maintained that all the court papers relating to the suit against the dissolved state Executive Committee of the party has been served on them.

The clarification came amid the denial by Roy Nwaeze that no service of the court process had been served on the chief Onyekachi Nwebonyi led dissolved state EXCO of the party.

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court had on December 16, 2020, granted leave to the Fred Udeogu led Caretaker Committee of the party to serve the originating processes and other subsequent processes in the marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1609/2020, on the dissolved state Executives of the party represented by Onyekachi Nwebonyi, Engr. Francis Ori and Emeka Ogbu, listed as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.

The judge had after listening to counsel to the plaintiffs/ applicants, Nkem Okoro, equally directed that the originating processes and all other subsequent processes be served on them by substituted means to wit: by pasting at the gate of Osborne La Palm Hotel, Kpirikpiri Road, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.

But while the Plaintiffs told the court that they have dully complied with it’s orders, by pasting all the processes relating to the suit at the said hotel, through the service of a court bailiff, Mr. Roy Nwaeze has denied that no service has been carried out on the defendants.

Making the clarification on the issue of service, the Fred Udeogu led Caretaker Committee of the party submitted, “The Bailiff of the Federal High Court, who went to serve the court process was arrested by the security at the Hotel,despite the fact that he showed his ID card as officer of court and also presented the order of the court to the said security who subsequently released him.

The processes were served by pasting at the gate of Osborne La Palm Hotel as directed by the Court, and pictures of the Bailiff of the court taken, while he was pasting the processes at the gate of the Hotel. Despite the service of the Originating Summons on the 1st -3rd Defendants, and their awareness of the pendency of the suit, they neglected to appear before the court, as they had so much confidence that they will muscle their way through and get ready made judgment from the High Court of Ebonyi State under the governor who just decamped to APC.

It was only when it became clear to them, that they could not force the High Court of Ebonyi State, into doing their ungodly bidding, that they now resurfaced at the Federal High Court Abuja,claiming ignorance of the court processes.

It is on record, that Chief Onyekachi Nwebonyi, through Roy Nwaeze, the brother to the governor of Ebonyi State, denied ever having any meeting at the said Osborne La Palm Hotel, Abakiliki, in their motion asking the court to set aside the service on them. The Hon Fred Udeogu led Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ebonyi State, filed counter to the motion on notice, filed by Roy Nwaeze, to set aside the interlocutory order against his clients, and service of the court processes on them.

In the said affidavit, evidence clearly showing that the said Chief Onyekachi Nwebonyi and his dethroned former executive committee members of the PDP in Ebonyi State, had in fact, constantly held meetings at the said Osborne La Palm Hotel Abakiliki. Given this revelation, rather than wait for the motion to be heard and a determination made by the court, the same Roy, changed course and resorted to attacking the innocent bailif’s of the court.

While the motion filed by Roy Nwaeze the governor’s brother, was subsisting and pending in court, he muscled his way through the Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court, and made false accusations against the Bailiffs of the court, to the effect that the court processes served on the 1st -3rd Defendants, by the Bailiffs of the court, were no longer served.

It is unfortunate that the Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court, whom we understand had previous grouse against the Bailiff who served the court processes, took advantage of the situation to immediately set up a committee to try the said Bailiff in accordance with the dictates of Roy Nwaeze the governor’s brother.

It is unfortunate that the Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court, who himself is a lawyer, could not wait for the determination of the motion , filed by the same Roy Nwaeze, challenging the service of the processs of the court, on the 1st -3rd Defendants, before rushing, due to his ingrained animosity against the said Bailiff, and pressure by Roy Nwaeze, to set up a panel to try the Bailiff.

The action of the Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court, was done in bad faith, and undermines the integrity and jurisdiction of the Feseral High Court, before whom the same issue has been brought for adjudication.

Why was the Chief Registar of the Federal High Court in such a haste to set up a panel? Why did he not wait for the court to determine the same issue which has been submitted to court? Why was Roy Nwaeze privy to the proceedings of the Panel, even while he was still in court, when the matter was being heard by the said panel?

These are all questions begging for answers. It is most unfortunate that the same Roy Nwaeze, is the one now sending messages to the Lawyers on record in the matter, informing them of the proceedings of the panel, and that the Bailiff will soon be dismissed , even when there has been no determination to that effect.

We call on the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, to intervene on this matter, to save the integrity of the judiciary.

The Chief Registar of the Federal High Court, in conjunction with Roy Nwaeze, are now making a determination of matters already pending before the court administratively, without allowing the court to reach a verdict one way or the other.

It is therefore in view of the foregoing that we deny categorically the false and malicious publications sponsored by Roy Nwaeze, alleging that the court processes in Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/1609/2020, were not served on the 1st – 3rd Defendants.

Credit: The Sun

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