Uche Nwosu, son-in-law to the Ex-Governor Rochas Okorocha, and governorship candidate of the Action Alliance (AA), got the shock of his life when his party denied him on Friday, May 31, 2019, before the State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Owerri. The development has made his petition to suffer a set back, since it may lack merit without support of the party.
It all started when two lawyers, Chief Okey Ehieze and, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), battled for who should represent the Action Alliance (AA).
While Akintola told the Tribunal that he was representing Uche Nwosu and the Action Alliance, Ehieze said he was “not a gate- crasher”, but duly consulted and his services retained to defend Uche Nwosu’s petition.
“From the processes before this honourable Tribunal, it is very clear that I am not a gate-crasher. I was validly appointed, via a letter dated May 27, 2019, and signed by the National Legal Adviser of the party, Anaukyaa Mnenge Peter Esq”, he averred.
Okey Ehieze Esq. then proceeded to tell the Tribunal that he had a Motion on Notice, which he intended to move. He said that it was in pursuant to Paragraph 47 of the first schedule to the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended, and Order 9 Rule 15(1) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009.
To show his seriousness, he attached a 15-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion, sworn to by the AA National Legal Adviser, Anaukyaa Mnenge.
Here’s part of the bombshell from the affidavit which took everybody aback: “To the best of my knowledge and belief, the second Petitioner/Applicant, which is a registered Political Party (AA) in Nigeria, was not consulted before the filing of this petition, wherein it was joined as the second petitioner.
“Incidentally, the first Petitioner/Respondent (Uche Nwosu), who contested the said election on the platform of our party, decided on his own to bring this petition without consultation or approval of the national body of the second petitioner (AA), when the second petitioner has no interest in taking part in any re-run election being sought for by the first petitioner.
“The second petitioner is, therefore, surprised that its name is being used as a co-petitioner in this petition, without the agreement, or even knowledge, of the National Officers.
“To the best of my knowledge and belief, the decision to strike out the name of the second Petitioner/Applicant from this Petition, was not actuated by any other reason, other than in keeping with its agreement with other members of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) not to undermine the interest of its members and to give room for peace, progress and development of Imo State.”
He urged the Tribunal to grant the application “by striking out the name of the second Petitioner/Applicant, as sought”.
At this point, Counsels to Governor Emeka Ihedioha and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), and Prince Ken Njemanze (SAN), respectively, urged the Tribunal to hear Ehieze’s Motion on Notice and take a decision on it.
“The outcome of the Motion will go a long way in determining where we go from here”, both senior lawyers opined.
Supporters of Uche Nwosu present at the Tribunal were dumbfounded wondering if the rug has not been pulled from under the feet of their principal. Time will tell, as the case has been adjourned to June 14,2019 for further hearing.