Alleged forgery: APGA, Chekwas Okorie, Osigho demand lawyer’s probe

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The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA); its founder and pioneer National Chairman, Chief Chekwas Okorie, and others have demanded an investigation into an allegation of forgery levelled against a lawyer, Sopuluchukwu Ezeonwuka.

they are also seeking a probe into the alleged sharp practices against Ezeonwuka in an appeal marked: CA/ABJ/CV/454/2023, between APGA & others against INEC & others, is Chief Jonathan Osigho, a Delta senatorial candidate in the 2023 poll.

The demand is contained in a petition dated May 29 and addressed to the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem,

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the petition was equally copied to the president,
Nigerian Bar Association (NBA); the chairman,
Body of Benchers, and the chairman,
Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC).

The letter titled, “Petition Against Barr. Sopuluchukwu E. Ezeonwuka for the Sharp Practices in Appeal No: CA/ABJ/CV/454/2023: APGA & ors V. INEC & ors,” was signed by their lawyer, Nkechinyere Ogbuehi, of
Magna Mentes Associates, and a copy made available to newsmen in Abuja.

The petition reads in part: “We are solicitors to Chief Chekwas Okorie, Jonathan Oyiborhino Osigho and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) on whose instructions and express permission we write this letter; hereinafter referred to as our clients.

“We write to bring to your Lordship’s attention the very disturbing action of Sopuluchukwu E. Ezeonwuka in the above appeal and the need for your esteemed office to look into this scenario very carefully.

”P. I. Ikwueto, SAN (Counsel to Chief Victor Ike Oye) tried to import this judgment into Appeal No: CA/724/2023: Chief Victor Ike Oye V. Otunba Camaru Lateef Ogidan & 2 ORS, during the adoption and hearing of the appeal on the 27th of May, 2024, in favour of the appellant.

” Ikwueto, SAN’s presentation made our clients to become aware of the existence of the said judgment from the Court of Appeal for the first time.

“It is our client’s brief that they have no idea whatsoever of Appeal No: CA/ABJ/CV/454/2023: APGA & ORS V. INEC & ORS and never briefed any one to file or prosecute the said appeal.

“The purported appeal emanated from Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/1750/2022: OKORIE & ORS V. INEC ORS initiated at the Federal Court, Abuja with the following as Plaintiffs: APGA, Chief Chekwas Okorie, Jonathan Oyiborhino Osigho and Hon. Barr Sopuluchukwu Ezeonwuka.

“After the judgment at the trial court delivered by Hon. Justice J. K. Omotosho on the matter on March 27, 2023, the party, APGA instructed all the members involved in the matter not to go on appeal as soon as the Supreme Court Judgment was corrected in their favour on 24th of March, 2023 in SC/CA/687/2021: CHIEF JUDE OKEKE V. APGA & ORS.

“Strangely, without the approval of the party and without consulting the other appellants or securing their approval, Barr. Sopuluchukwu E. Ezeonwuka, surreptitiously took out an affidavit on behalf of the entire appellants and went at their back to file an appeal without the consent of the party nor Chief Chekwas Okorie or Jonathan Osigho.

“Furthermore, the appearances section of the judgment in Appeal No: CA/ABJ/CV/454/2023: APGA & ORS V. INEC & ORS, has the name of Chief C. N. Nwagbo as the Counsel for the Appellants.

“At no point whatsoever did the appellants agreed to engage C. N. Nwagbo neither was there any evidence of payment from them for such services. A copy of the aforementioned judgement shall be attached therein.”

Addressing newsmen shortly after submission of the petition on Friday, Chief Okorie prayed Justice Dongban-Mensem to cause an investigation into the alleged professional misconduct of Ezeonwuka in the matter and bring the culprits to book.

“This will forestall and deter desperate litigants from employing unethical means, using the instruments of the courts for their ulterior motives to the detriment of innocent citizens” Okorie said.

NAN observes that the current National Chairman of APGA, Chief Edozie Njoku, and other chieftains of the party, were in attendance.

Reacting in a text message, Mr Ezeonwuka said the allegation were untrue.

“It is not how it really happened or played out. Check the appeal you made reference to, you will see my name as one of the appellants.

“And when you look at the Appellants’ Brief, you will see that the same counsel that conducted the matter at trial court was the counsel that did the appeal at Court of Appeal.

“I don’t want to go into details because it is an internal affair of APGA as a political party because what you are now seeing as an issue will definitely be sorted out internally because we are one,” he said.

Biola Lawal

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