Ambassadors George Obiozor, and Okey Emuchay, have asked an Enugu High Court to declare them as the authentic president-general and secretary-general respectively of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation.
The duo in suit No. E/878/202 filed through their lawyer Dr. Peter Chidera Aneke, also asked the court presided by Hon. Justice Uchenna Mogbo, to declare that the “purported parallel election of the officers of the National Executive Council (NEC) of Ohanaeze conducted in Enugu state at the instance of the defendants is illegal and unconstitutional.”
The suit named Chidi Ibeh, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, Prince Richard Ozobu, and Nnabuike Okwu, as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and fourth defendants.
Summit News recalls that at the last NEC election of Ohanaeze held in Owerri, the Imo state capital, Ambassadors Obiozor and Emuchay emerged president-general and secretary-general of the organisation respectively, while a parallel election conducted in Enugu, the Enugu state capital, threw up Messrs Ibe and Isiguzoro, as president-general and secretary-general respectively.
Recall also that Prince Ozobu was chairman of the electoral body that midwived the
Ohanaeze NEC election held in Enugu.
When the matter came up on Tuesday, November 1, Emma Awuja Esq. counsel to Prince Ozobu, faulted the mode of service of the writ of summons on the four defendants.
He explained that the summons meant for the four defendants were dumped with a sales girl in a boutique adjoining the Enugu residence of Prince Ozobu, contrary to the substituted service sought by the plaintiff, as well as the order of the court which specified that the originating processes should be pasted on the front gate of No. 9 Ezilo Street, Independence Layout.
Counsel to Ozobu further argued that the plaintiffs misled the court by deposing in the affidavit in support of their exparte motion for substituted service that No. 9 Ezilo Street, Independence Layout, Enugu, is the office of the defendants, whereas it is the personal residence of Ozobu.
.He explained that the 1st defendant(Ibeh) resides in Umuahia, Abia state; the 2nd defendant(Isiguzoro) lives in Owerri, Imo state, adding that the whereabouts of the 4th defendant (Okwu) is unknown.
Awuja told the court that in granting the plaintiffs’ motion for substituted service, the court did not order that the other three defendants should be served through Ozobu, saying that the “plaintiffs cannot shift the burden placed on them by law,” on Ozobu’s shoulders.
He had in a motion on notice dated October 13, 2022, urged the court to set aside the service of the originating processes on the defendants, and all other processes, including motion for injunction restraining the 1st, 2nd and 4th defendants from parading themselves as elected national officers of Ohanaeze.
However, counsel to Obiozor and Emuchay described the application as “incompetent, and “incurably defective,” and asked the court to uphold the mode of service of the writ of summons on the defendants.
Hon. Justice Mogbo will rule on the matter on November 24, 2022.