BREAKING: Valentine Ozigbo wins as High Court declines jurisdiction in Ugochukwu Uba suit
The High Court of Anambra has stated that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the controversial suit instituted by Senator Ugochukwu Uba today.
It would be recalled that the said Suit No. A/230/2021 Senator Ugochukwu Uba vs. INEC, PDP & ANOR, which was formally adjourned in open Court by the presiding Judge, Honorable Justice Obiora A. Nwabunike, to the 14th day of September 2021, was recalled following alleged pressures, blackmail and threats by Sen. Uba.
The legal team of the PDP had on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, raised an alarm over reports that the plaintiff’s Counsel, Chief B.E.I Nwofor, a former Senior Advocate of Nigeria was manoeuvring in the Court to procure another black market order of injunction to truncate the course of justice.
Parts of the statement released by the team read: “We wish to bring to the attention of the general public, particularly the National Judicial Council (NJC), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and to all the stakeholders in the Nigerian Administration of Justice System that, a serious attempt is being made to assault the principle of the rule of law.
“The Honorable Court in her wisdom decided that since the order has abated by the effluxion of time, there was no need to use the process of a formal motion to vacate the said order. In the words of the Honorable Court, “the order is dead and the only thing remaining is the funeral and the burial.
“The Honorable Court meticulously interviewed all the leading Counsel for the parties who dutifully identified all the processes they filed in the suit. Meanwhile the court had to rise for some time to enable it resolve in Chambers with the leading Counsel, the application by one of the parties to the Administrative Judge for the transfer of the suit to another Court,” the statement read in part.
According to reports, threats of unimaginable proportion greeted the adjournment of the said suit by the Court to the 14th of September 2021, resulting in it being recalled to the 14th of July 2021 and consequently dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
According to sources, when the matter was recalled for hearing, Counsel to Mr Ozigbo, Alex Ejesieme, SAN, drew the Court’s attention to the fact that it had no further jurisdiction over the matter until it received a directive from the Administrative Judge to whom a letter was addressed; pursuant to Order 38 Rule 7 (1) of the High Court of Anambra Civil Procedure Rules.
The said rule provides that a letter, such as that which the PDP filed, operates as a stay of execution immediately it gets to the knowledge of the trial Judge. Order 38 Rule 9 also allowed the Chief Judge of the State or the Administrative Judge 30 days period within which to act on such a letter.
Consequently, the Trial Judge in his final ruling for the day held that based on the above provisions of the Rules of Court cited by the Mr. Ozigbo’s counsel, he has no jurisdiction to “even say good morning” to any of the parties until he is directed to do so by the Learned Admin Judge.
In fact he opened his records book to show the bar and the entire court that he made no records for today. With the Court’s refusal to bow to blackmail, it is yet another victory for the rule of law.